What Bob Iger Is Doing Now That He’s Back In Control Of Disney

Bob Iger is dismantling the company structure put in place by Bob Chapek and putting decision-making power back in the hands of creative teams.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

In a move that stunned the entertainment industry, Bob Iger was reappointed as Disney’s Chief Executive Officer less than a year after he retired. Although he’s only been on the job for a day, the 71-year-old wasted no time announcing plans for a major overhaul of the company. In a memo to employees of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, he said the head of the department, Kareem Daniel, would be leaving.

“Over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing organizational and operating changes within the company,” Bob Iger wrote via CNN Business. The CEO added that he intends to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of Disney. Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro, and Christine McCarthy have also been asked to design a new structure that puts decision-making back in the hands of the creative teams, thereby rationalizing costs.

“The goal is to have the new structure in place in the coming months,” Bob Iger explained. The CEO could also undo the price hike for Disney+ which will take effect in the coming weeks. While the 71-year-old planned to slowly raise prices over time, Bob Chapek ditched the idea and spiked the cost from $6.99 to $10.99 per month.

Bob Iger has an almost mythical status at Disney. He was instrumental in acquiring major brands like Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. The executive also closed the $71 billion deal to acquire most of 21st Century Fox and launched the company’s streaming revolution by creating Disney+ in November 2019. However, looking further into the future, bigger questions will inevitably be posed.

disney+ bob iger

For instance, what will Disney look like once Bob Iger’s two-year deal tenure comes to an end? Will he reshape the company for the digital age? Could he shed ABC and the broadcast division? Perhaps he might execute a mega-deal to demolish Netflix? A source at a top talent agency told CNN Business that the biggest question the 71-year-old will have to answer is how to top his last run in the top job.

“The world is a much more complicated place than it was a few years ago,” the person told the publication. It’s going to be hard to live up to the reputation Bob Iger built as the most formidable media CEO ever. And it’s going to be difficult to please investors, staff, creative partners, and the audience. But for now, Wall Street has supported the dramatic leadership change at the world’s most famous entertainment company.

Shares of Disney surged during early trading this week, as news of Bob Iger’s return as Chief Executive Officer broke. They closed up $5.78, or 6.3%, at $97.58, according to the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, Bob Chapek’s exit was partly blamed on the entertainment giant’s recent lackluster earnings report. As a result, the firm announced cost cuts, which included a hiring freeze.

Bob Iger previously ran Disney from 2005 to 2020. He then served as the company’s executive chairman until 2021 when he retired. Under his new deal, he will be chief executive for the next two years and will be tasked with finding a successor.