Less than a year after his retirement, the executive returns to The Walt Disney Company to boost investor confidence and profits from its streaming businesses.
In the industry’s big shakeup, Bob Iger returns as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, less than a year after his retirement, a return that coincides with the company’s attempt to boost investor confidence and profits. your streaming business.
Bob Iger, who stepped down last year after 15 years as CEO, has accepted that role for two more years effective immediately, the company said in a statement late on Sunday, November 20.
The executive will replace Bob Chapek, who took over as CEO in February 2020, prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which involved the closure of theme parks and restrictions on visitors around the world.
In this sense, the entertainment giant’s shares have fallen more than 40% so far in 2022, lagging behind the almost 7% drop in the Down Jones Industrial Average index.
“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,” said Susan Arnold, president of the Board of Directors in the statement.
The Walt Disney Company disappointed investors in November with an earnings report that showed mounting losses at its streaming unit that includes Disney+. Shares hit their lowest level in 20 years the day after fourth-quarter results.
The streaming business lost nearly $1.5 billion in the quarter, more than double the prior year’s losses, despite the dollar gains. The unit, which competes with Netflix and Amazon, among others; it has yet to turn a profit since its launch in 2019.
The conglomerate has said it expects Disney+ to be profitable in fiscal 2024.
“I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty, or perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty, our employees achieved the impossible,” Iger said in a letter to employees, according to reports by Reuters.
Iger left Disney leading the charge against rival Netflix in the streaming wars. During his tenure, Disney made several key acquisitions, including Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and 21st Century Fox, and increased its market capitalization fivefold.
Chapek became CEO in February 2020, succeeding Iger, who stayed on at Disney through 2021 to ease the transition. The board had renewed Chapek’s contract in June. During his brief tenure, Chapek had to deal with theme park closures and production stoppages during the pandemic.