December 2, 2022

Disney is bringing back Robert Iker after firing Sabek as CEO

The Walt Disney Company board was removed Bob Chabeck As chief executive on Sunday, Robert A. concluded that various wrongdoings had irreparably damaged his ability to lead. Iger suddenly announced that he would return to run the company immediately.

“We are grateful for Bob Chabeck’s service,” board president Susan Arnold said in a statement. “As Disney embarks on an increasingly complex industry transformation, the board has decided that Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company during this important period.” The Disney team is set to meet in person in New York next December.

Disney’s senior leadership team has the “deepest respect” for Mr. He added that Iger has.

Mr. Iger, 71, said in a statement that he is “very optimistic about the future of this great company and is delighted to have been asked by the board to return as CEO.” Mr. Iger was Disney’s chief executive between 2005 and 2020. While he was the executive chairman at the time, his chosen successor, Mr. He handed over the day-to-day running of the company to Sabeck. Mr. Iger left the company entirely in January.

Comment Mr. Sabek could not immediately be reached.

Following a disastrous earnings announcement on November 8, Mr. Iger and Mr. Chabek’s ouster was followed by a surprise reinstatement. Disney blindsided Wall Street by reporting it. A loss of $1.5 billion In its growing streaming segment, that was $630 million a year ago. Higher Disney+ production, marketing and technology costs contributed to “peak” losses, Mr. Sabek said.

Disney shares fell 12 percent the next morning because investors — and many inside Disney — discussed Mr. Trump’s earnings report on a conference call with analysts. They were struck by the happy-go-lucky tone that Chabeck struck. Mr. Chabek’s behavior struck many as deaf.

Immediately, CNBC anchor Jim Cramer, commenting on his show, called Mr. He began calling for the firing of Sabek. On Friday, Mr. Cramer, Mr. Chabeck said he was “incapable of running a wonderful company” and that “Disney needs someone new.”

Mr. Cramer added, “That balance sheet is a hell of a balance sheet.”

62 year old Mr. Sabeck, who was named CEO in February 2020, took over from the more famous. Mr. Igar. The handover did not go smoothly. The Corona Virus Pandemic Mr. It forced Sabek to close most of the company. This year, Mr. Sabeck faced one crisis after another, some of his own making.

In March, Disney became embroiled in a heated dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, over a law banning classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in third grade. Mr. Sabek He tried not to take sides At first, at least publicly, it was a trigger Employee agitation. Mr. Chabeck later denounced the bill, sparking a political firestorm, with right-wing figures railing against “woke Disney.”

In June, Mr. Sabek Suddenly deleted Disney’s top TV executive, to Hollywood’s howls of disapproval. In August, activist investor Dan Loeb told Mr. pushed Sabek to a consideration Limitation of changes, including rocking the board and spinning ESPN. (Mr. Loeb then retreated in a cycle, says on Twitter (He learned more about Disney’s “growth and innovation plans” for ESPN.)

All the while, some of Disney’s most devoted theme park customers are angry about the price hikes. Nickel and Timing. Disney told investors last month that theme park profits would have been even higher if not for an “unfavorable attendance mix” at Disneyland, which annual pass holders took as an insult. T-shirts, mugs and stickers bearing the word “Unfavorable” in Disneyland’s handwriting began to be sold online.