According to ‘Variety’, the announcement of a sudden change in Disney’s CEO position has sent shockwaves through the industry: Bob Iger returns as CEO of Walt Disney, effective immediately, replacing Bob Chapek, who previously replaced him in 2020.
On February 25, 2020, Bob Chapek succeeded Iger as Disney’s seventh chief executive officer, with Iger holding the position of executive chairman until his contract expires on December 31, 2021, less than a year before Iger retires.
Bob Chapek signed a multi-year deal just this June at a base salary of $2.5 million per year.
And now Disney’s Board of Directors has announced the decision to replace him, saying, “We thank Bob Chapek for his long career of service to Disney, including leading the company through unprecedented challenges during the epidemic. The Board has decided that Disney is facing an increasingly complex period of transition in the industry and Bob Igerl is the right person to lead the company through a critical period on its behalf.”
Iger also released an email to employees stating that he was returning with great gratitude and humility, “and, it must be admitted, a bit of surprise as well.”
He also stated, “I am very optimistic about the future of this great company and am thrilled to receive an invitation from the directors to return as CEO. …… I am honored to once again lead this outstanding team with a clear mission: to focus on creative excellence and to inspire generations with unparalleled, courageous stories. “
However, his return as Disney CEO this time will only be for two years, with the board authorizing him to set the strategic direction for returning to growth and to work with the board to identify a successor.
Iger has been with Disney since 1996, has been CEO since 2005, acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006, Marvel for $4.24 billion in 2009, Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in 2012 and part of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox assets for $71.3 billion in 2019.
During his tenure, Disney’s market capitalization increased from $48 billion to $257 billion.
Looking over previous news reports, Iger’s overall compensation for 2019 is $47.5 million (including base salary + bonus + various benefits, and the unit really didn’t write it down wrong, it’s that much).