Disney Erasing Bob Chapek; Abandons Another One of His Big Ideas

To say that Bob Chapek’s time as CEO of The Walt Disney Company was rocky would be a nice way to put it. Chapek was Disney’s CEO for less than three years and, during that time, the company’s stock tanked, Guest satisfaction was close to an all-time low, prices at the theme parks continued to climb while quality appeared to go down. Chapek became CEO of Disney in February 2020, but was out in November 2022, with Bob Iger returning to the position. Now, it looks like Disney is trying to erase nearly all the evidence that Chapek was even there.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

On February 8, Bob Iger announced that the company would be eliminating 7,000 positions at the company. Some of those layoffs began on March 27, with a number of executives losing their jobs, along with getting rid of an entire acquisitions department. It was also announced that Disney no longer had a division focused on creating its very own metaverse. Chapek had touted the idea of a Disney metaverse as a great opportunity for growth. It would not only enable the theme parks to grow, but also the Disney Cruise Line, and even Guests experience with Disney movies.

Disney metaverse

Credit: Disney

Now, it looks like another one of Chapek’s big ideas is being thrown in the Disney dumpster. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Disney has abandoned the idea of a membership that would be similar to Amazon Prime. In September 2022, Chapek announced that Disney was exploring the idea of a “Disney Prime”. The idea was to add a membership option to Disney+, where Guests would be able to stream and shop in the same place. Members of “Disney Prime” would get things like discounts and free shipping.

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

Fleshing out the idea for a “Disney Prime” membership was being spearheaded by Mike White. White was also in charge of digging into the idea of Disney’s metaverse. Mr. White will remain with Disney, but his role in the company is not clear.

Per The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. White was also involved in an effort last year to design a membership initiative that in some ways resembled Inc.’s Prime program, which would integrate customer data across multiple Disney platforms, including streaming service Disney+, online retail operations and smartphone apps that visitors to Disney’s theme parks use to buy food, merchandise and other products.

That effort has also been abandoned, according to people familiar with the matter.  

Disney Plus changes

Credit: Disney

The ending of the metaverse and Disney’s Prime plans are just one step in CEO Bob Iger making massive budget cuts at the House of Mouse. Iger is currently making cuts to save Disney about $5.5 billion.

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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