Bob Iger Returns to Disney as CEO
Bob Iger (left) and Bob Chapek (right) at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in February 2020 | Source: The Walt Disney Co.

A familiar face is returning to right the ship after a tumultuous era at The Walt Disney Co.

Earlier this evening, Disney revealed that Bob Iger is back at the helm as CEO, effective immediately.

In February 2020, Iger announced plans to step down as CEO with plans to stay on as executive chairman through the end of 2021. Bob Chapek, a 27-year Disney vet, stepped into the role of CEO at that time. Over the past two years, Disney’s business structure has been realigned as Chapek’s reign has been marred by controversy and diminishing returns despite subscriber growth across Disney+. Chapek stepped down from his position this weekend.

Iger has agreed to serve as CEO for at least two years with a mandate from Disney’s board of directors to reset the company so that it can return to growth. Additionally, he will work with the board to develop a successor to lead Disney following his departure.

“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company. Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the globe — most especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration,” Iger says. “I am deeply honored to be asked to again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unrivaled, bold storytelling.”

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“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” says 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 the deep respect of Disney’s senior leadership team, most of whom he worked closely with until his departure as executive chairman 11 months ago, and he is greatly admired by Disney employees worldwide — all of which will allow for a seamless transition of leadership.”

Iger spent four decades at Disney, including 15 years as CEO from 2005-2020.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.