Why was Bob Chapek fired from Disney? Bob Iger RETURNS as CEO, fans say, 'bring the magic back'

Iger, who left Disney last year, after spending more than 4 decades at the company, including 15 years as its CEO, has agreed to serve as Disney's CEO for 2 years

Why was Bob Chapek fired from Disney? Bob Iger RETURNS as CEO, fans say, 'bring the magic back'
Disney ousted chief executive Bob Chapek (L) and announced that it had brought back former CEO Bob Iger (R) once again (Charley Gallay, Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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BURBANK, CALIFORNIA: The Walt Disney Company has made a surprise announcement that has stunned the entertainment industry. Bob Iger has replaced Bob Chapek as Disney CEO, a leadership change that could prove beneficial to the world's largest media company, which has struggled since Iger stepped down as CEO in 2020. Iger is expected to "set the strategic direction for renewed growth and work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term," the company announced Sunday, Nov 20.

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The Walt Disney Company released a statement appointing Bob Iger as the CEO effective immediately. The statement relieved Chapek of his duties and read, "We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board. "The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period." Iger has spent almost four decades with the Mouse House and has served as the CEO for 15 years, only to return for more. Iger responded to this development, "I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO."

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With $30-million-a-day losses Disney brings back Bob Iger to stem the bleeding, but is it too late?

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The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger arrives for the World Premiere of
Walt Disney Co's board of directors brought back Robert Iger, the company’s former chairman and CEO (Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Why was Bob Chapek fired?

Bob Chapek was given the business at an extremely difficult time when the world was struggling with the corona virus at its peak and production houses throughout Hollywood were resorting to online releases due to the global lockdown. Things took a drastic turn when the company pursued an aggressive campaign against Marvel star Scarlett Johansson that resulted in a settlement over the fee for 'Black Widow.' Constant public controversy and failure led Chapek to resign from his post.

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Bob Chapek attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
Bob Chapek had said repeatedly that he expects the streaming business to be profitable by September 2024. In the most recent quarter, though, it lost $1.47 billion (David Livingston/Getty Images)

Chapek also made remarks on animated movies which is a huge money maker for the Mouse House. In a conversation with The Wall Street Journal, he said, "Our fans and audiences put their kids to bed at night after watching ‘Pinocchio,’ ‘Dumbo’ or ‘Little Mermaid,’ then they’re probably not going to tune into another animated movie, they want something for them,” Chapek said. I want to respect what this brand is. But at the same time, I know that we may be even more precious about what is ‘Disney’ than the consumer base is." His remarks were not well-appreciated by the fans. 

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Fans react to Bob Iger's return

One user welcomed back Iger and wrote, "WOW What a Surprise! im totally Surprised, i'm in shocked and you know im glad he's back so... Welcome Back, Bob Iger, Welcome Back, i really hope Bob Iger says something about Animation cause what Bob Chepek said was wrong" Another user tweeted, "OMFG. Am I dreaming? How can this be possible when Chapek had just renewed his contract? This is a huge W. Now Alan Horn needs to come back too." One more user wrote, "Didn't expect this. All I can say is that things went pretty darn well for the Mouse House under Iger's tenure, so I wish him the best in running things again." One user wrote, "Chapek was silent on "Don't Say Gay." He inferred adults have little interest in animation. Parks became grifts. Morale suffered. Obviously Iger is returning with the main goal of making us profitable again, but I truly hope the company can return to being profitable AND hopeful." Another user tweeted, "Iger replacing Chapek changes everything. Iger is a creative first leader. This potentially means great things for both parks and movie fans, and hopefully castmembers." One more user tweeted, "IGER SAID STEP ASIDE I HAVE TO BRING THE MAGIC BACK"

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