Bob Iger Doesn’t Want to “Get Into” What Went Wrong With Bob Chapek

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger and new Disney CEO Bob Chapek
Disney CEO Bob Iger and former Disney CEO Bob Chapek at Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park in Walt Disney World Resort, Central Florida / Credit: Disney

In February 2020, Bob Iger officially stepped down as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and Bob Chapek stepped up to take his place. Almost immediately, things did not go well for Mr. Chapek. Just one month after he became CEO, he had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and all Disney Parks were forced to shut down. From there, things did not get much better. Chapek was seemingly only concerned about making the most money while giving Guests as little as possible.

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

After less than three years — in November 2022 –, Disney’s Board of Directors decided to oust the failing Chapek and brought Bob Iger back in as CEO. Not long after that, Susan Arnold – Disney’s Chairperson of the Board and Chapek supporter – stepped down from her position.

In the time that Iger has been back as CEO, he has made several big changes, mainly to the theme parks. On February 8, Iger and CFO Christine McCarthy held their first earnings call since Iger’s return, and things went well overall, although he did announce 7,000 Cast Members would be laid off.

Bob Iger

Credit: Disney

Since the call, Mr. Iger has conducted several interviews, including one with CNBC. In that interview, he was asked about Bob Chapek and whether he was the right decision. The follow-up question was, of course, what went wrong with Mr. Chapek? That was a question Iger did not want to answer.

Iger was asked if he regrets choosing Chapek: “We thought we made the right decision when we chose Bob back in 2020. The board decided in November he was not the right person for the job and they made a change. With any big decision, you should learn from what went wrong.”

Iger was asked if he wants to discuss what went wrong or what he “may not have seen properly” about Chapek: Iger: “No, I’m not going to get into that.”

Prior to stepping back in as CEO, Mr. Iger had been vocal to those close to him about his dissatisfaction with Chapek. Iger even went so far as to call appointing Chapek his “worst business decision.” Iger didn’t like the way Mr. Chapek treated Cast Members, and disagreed with the way he did most things. Chapek, for his part, always tried to paint a rosy picture of the Company, but the numbers didn’t match the positivity.

Bob Iger is set to remain CEO through the end of 2024. Until then, he is working on making The Walt Disney Company as successful as it was before he walked away. Wall Street is loving Iger’s return, with Disney shares jumping 4% after the earnings call.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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