At Disney, it’s Bob vs. Bob

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Bob Iger abruptly stepped down as Disney CEO in February 2020. Bob Chapek became the new CEO, but Iger has continued to stay at the company through 2021. Photo by Shutterstock.

All is not well between Bob Iger and Bob Chapek at Disney, as detailed in a Hollywood Reporter article by Kim Masters. 

Masters examines the state of play at Disney, where Iger abruptly resigned as CEO in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit. He named Bob Chapek as his successor. Chapek had been in charge of theme parks and resorts, where he was “known for cutting costs and raising prices,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

At a Disney board retreat in Hawaii over the summer, Iger used his final appearance before fully retiring to offer some advice. “In a world and business that is awash with data, it is tempting to use data to answer all of our questions, including creative questions,” he said. “I urge all of you not to do that.” 

Many have perceived that as a direct shot at Chapek, whose top priority has seemed to be using data to bulk up the streaming service Disney+. There’s also the perception in the industry that Chapek is out of his depth when it comes to dealing with talent, especially in the Scarlett Johansson lawsuit, which was recently settled. 

Iger told Masters that Chapek just needs time to learn to do the job well, but did not offer any other complimentary statements about his successor.

Credits

Guest:

Host:

Kim Masters

Producer:

Kaitlin Parker