Over the past several months, we’ve been watching the drama unfold with Disney’s executives.
In a move that shocked many fans, Bob Chapek was ousted as CEO of The Walt Disney Company in November 2022, and immediately replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger. Since then, Iger has already started to “clean house” and announce changes for the company. But what started it all? Who turned on Chapek and ignited the change? We’ve got the answer.
According to The Wall Street Journal, tensions had been rising with Bob Chapek in office for months before the final call was made to replace him. The company had been suffering on the PR end of things, but also in financial matters, with extreme losses in the streaming division.
Those losses became particularly evident during the November 8th earnings call for the fourth quarter. During that call, it was announced that Disney+ had added 12.1 million net new accounts, but unfortunately, its losses were also 38% higher than what had been predicted by Wall Street, rounding out at about $1.5 billion.
This incredibly grim news spelled disaster for Disney’s stock prices, and they had a single-day drop of 13.2%. Chapek found himself in the middle of a dire situation, and even issued a memo to senior executives banning all but essential work travel and freezing new hires. He admitted that layoffs would be likely.
Desperate for something to change, one Disney executive took matters into her own hands — Disney CFO Christine McCarthy. McCarthy and Chapek had been “butting heads” over various matters for months, and so she called Bob Iger personally and ask if the former CEO would be interested in returning to his post. That phone call took place on November 16th, and on November 18th, Chairwoman Susan Arnold made the call to offer Iger the job.
Iger accepted the job and on November 20th, Arnold called Chapek to let him know his services were no longer needed. McCarthy had many years of experience working with Iger, and so she and the board felt that if anyone could help dig Disney out of the hole it was in, it would be him.
Iger has inherited a number of problems — losses in the streaming division, movies that are underperforming in the box office, disgruntled fans, and more. He has already started to make changes in an effort to “fix” things, all while looking for a successor for the end of his two-year term. We’ve still got time until then to see if Christine McCarthy made the right choice in campaigning to get him back.
We’ll keep you updated with any more news about Disney executives and major decisions in the company, so stay tuned to DFB. We’re following this situation closely to see what happens next.