As more details continue to come to light surrounding the sudden departure of now-former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, we have now learned that it was the result of “festering discontent” among the top executives and investors, suggesting that, while the fans were left reeling, an actual rebellion occurred from within.
Chapek will arguably be remembered for how he almost immediately restructured The Walt Disney Company to prioritize streaming and distribution efforts with the now-fired Kareem Daniel as his distribution chief. But the company’s streaming segment recorded a massive $1.47 billion loss, and Chapek clarified that he saw direct-to-consumer business becoming profitable in 2024 only if the economy did not worsen. These losses resulted in a significantly weaker-than-expected quarterly report, offsetting record-high Theme Park revenue and sending stock price freefalling to another 52-week low. As of November 21, 2022, Disney is still down 37% for the year.
It was in the aftermath of this latest earnings report that discontent launched a rebellion from within Disney to remove Chapek, despite the fact that his contract was just extended for another three years and included Disney CFO Christine McCarthy.
According to The Wall Street Journal,
“Disney executives and investors had been complaining for months to the prior CEO, Robert Iger, about the direction of the company under Mr. Chapek, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Iger advised some of these executives to take their concerns to the company’s board, some people familiar with the matter said. … Ms. McCarthy, the CFO, told board members that she wasn’t happy with the way Mr. Chapek had communicated with investors during the conference call, people familiar with the matter said. … On Friday, according to people familiar with the matter, Mr. Iger received a call from Susan Arnold, the chairman of the board of Walt Disney, the company that he led as chief executive for 15 years.”
Negotiations between Iger and the board of directors were reportedly settled over the next two days.
Disney Fanatic reported last night that the board had a few other candidates that they had in mind, but the only way they could move forward with enough power not to involve Chapek was if they brought Iger back. In his return, they have mandated that a true successor will be claimed.
Bob Chapek reportedly found out about his firing only moments before the announcement was made public.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on the change-up at the highest levels of The Walt Disney Company as more developments come to light.