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Bob Iger Reportedly “Overwhelmed and Exhausted”

Bob Iger's return hasn't worked out so far
Credit: Disney/Canva

For 15 years, it seemed that Disney — and its CEO, Bob Iger — were untouchable. Iger catapulted Disney to a level not seen in the entertainment industry. During his tenure, he acquired Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm, and 20th Century Fox. Walt Disney Studios was creating hit movie after hit movie. Iger was also responsible for the opening of a brand-new Resort — Shanghai Disneyland. Add to that the creation of Disney+. Iger and Disney could not be stopped.

disney apple merger

Credit: Disney

Related: Pixar Developing Elemental Series For Disney+ Amid Content Purge 

Then, in February 2020, beloved Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that he was stepping down from his active role as CEO. Former Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek took over and Iger became Executive Chairman. And things went downhill and they went downhill FAST.

Less than three years into the role, Chapek was fired and Iger was brought back.

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, current Disney CEO Bob Iger

Credit: Disney

Sadly, Iger is not the CEO he once was, and he is definitely not as popular as he used to be. Iger has been struggling to find ways to make Disney profitable while dealing with constant complaints from guests, fans, and shareholders.

And according to a new report from Bloomberg, the once-idolized CEO is “exhausted and overwhelmed.”

Disney declined to make Iger available for an interview, but members of his inner circle and current and former Disney employees, who declined to be named as they aren’t authorized to speak publicly, describe him as overwhelmed and exhausted…

At times, when friends have asked about his return to Disney amid the barrage of negative headlines, he’s wearily joked: “Why did I come back?”

Iger now finds himself increasingly isolated, not unlike his predecessor, Eisner, in the twilight of his reign. Many of Iger’s allies left when he did the first time around… Iger trusts few of his own managers, so he’s tapped former successors-in-waiting Mayer and Staggs as advisers to help him sell parts of the business, according to Disney executives.

bob iger ruining disney

Credit: Disney

Chapek’s Constant Faux Pas’

Unfortunately for Chapek, just one month after Iger left, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Chapek was forced to deal with something no one had ever seen. He was forced to shut down all Disney theme parks. Disney film and television productions came to a halt. Thousands of workers were laid off and furloughed. It was an incredibly tough time to be a CEO.

Bob Chapek Disney Plus lawsuit

Credit: Disney

However, even with the worst of the pandemic behind him, Chapek was unable to keep the company at the high it was used to. In less than three years, Disney’s worth had been cut in half. Stock prices were at near lows. Employees were protesting, and Chapek couldn’t seem to stop saying the wrong thing.

He alienated Disney’s creatives and stars, and he was frequently accused of nickel-and-diming theme park guests. Quality at the parks went down while the prices went up.

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

Related: Bob Chapek Being Sued For LYING About Disney+

Iger’s Struggles

When Iger was brought back as Disney CEO in November 2022, fans and Wall Street lauded the decision. But the happiness was short-lived. One of Iger’s first steps in “improving” the company was to cut $5.5 billion from the budget. Part of that savings came in the form of laying off thousands of hard-working and dedicated employees.

Bob Iger Disney World

Credit: Bob Iger Twitter

Iger has also struggled with Disney’s film and television productions. Disney is losing billions of dollars every year on Disney+ and its movies are failing to perform at the box office. Fans are not making things easier. Fans constantly yell about wanting new, original material, like Elemental. But when Disney does make those films, fans don’t go to the theater to see them.

Bob Iger Woke Disney

Credit: Disney

Related: Bob Chapek Calls Being Disney CEO “Three Years of Hell”

As if things couldn’t get worse for the struggling CEO, he soon became Hollywood’s punching bag. In May 2022, the Writers Guild of America announced its writers were going on strike. Just two months later, all members of the Screen Actors Guild joined the writers on the picket lines.

Bob Iger

Credit: Disney

Just one day before SAG went on strike, Iger said that some of the contract demands were not “realistic.” He was called out for his hypocrisy. Iger makes approximately $78,000 per day, owns a private jet, and sails around the world on his private yacht. SAG president Fran Drescher called him an “ignoramus” and said he “stuck his foot in it so bad” that other CEOs were remaining silent.

Iger recently extended his contract with Disney through the end of 2026. At that time, it is expected that he will name a successor and finally step away from Disney for good.

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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