Former Disney CEO Bob Iger has returned to the company as CEO, replacing Bob Chapek after two years in office.
The Walt Disney Company announced the change of leadership in a press release on Sunday night. The change will take effect immediately, according to the company.
In the release, Disney stated that Iger had agreed to continue as the company’s CEO for two years, during which time he would work with the board to find a successor.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career,” said Susan Arnold, chair of Disney’s 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,” noted Susan Arnold.
Arnold stated that Iger is highly respected by Disney’s senior leadership and is widely admired by Disney employees worldwide.”
Following his rehire as CEO, Iger said, “I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO.”
“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,” he added.
In the past two years, Chapek has served as Disney’s chief executive, a period during which Wall Street was concerned about rapidly rising expenses at the company. Disney’s stock price has fallen 41 percent since Chapek took office.
Disney’s CEO, Iger, who was in charge for 15 years (from 2005 to 2020) increased the company’s market capitalization five-fold and has promised to return for at least two more years, according to the statement.
Earlier in 2021, Iger informed CNBC that he was leaving the company due to his growing confidence and inability to tolerate the opinions of others.
After stepping down as CEO in February 2020, Iger remained Disney’s executive chairman through the end of 2021, resulting in some conflict between the two executives. Insider previously reported that Iger was upset about the transfer of power to Chapek and battled the board as a result.
During Iger’s tenure, Disney acquired Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. The company also opened the first Disney theme park in China, Shanghai Disney Resort, and launched Disney+ and ESPN+.