Former Disney CEO Bob Iger is back in charge at Disney, replacing Bob Chapek after two years.
The company’s board of directors announced the sudden change in leadership in a press release Sunday evening. The change is effective immediately, according to The Walt Disney Company.
Disney said in the statement that Iger has agreed to serve as CEO of the company for two years, during which he will work with the board of directors to find a successor.
“The Board of Directors concluded that while Disney is embarking on an increasingly complex period of industrial transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely positioned to lead the company through this pivotal period,” Disney Chairman Susan Arnold said in the company’s press release.
Arnold said Iger has the “deep respect” of Disney’s senior leadership and is “much admired by Disney employees around the world”.
“I am extremely optimistic about the future of this great company and I am delighted that the Board of Directors has asked me to return as its CEO,” Iger said in a company press release Sunday.
He added, “I am deeply honored to be asked to once again lead such an incredible team, with a clear mission focused on creative excellence to inspire generations through unparalleled, bold storytelling.”
Iger served as Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company for 15 years, from 2005 to 2020, when Chapek was appointed CEO. Iger will continue as the company’s CEO and Chairman of the Board until 2021.
In 2021, Iger told CNBC that he was leaving the company in part because he had become “overconfident” and less tolerant of other people’s opinions.
Eric Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, called Iger’s return to the CEO role “the biggest comeback coup since [Steve] Jobs took back Apple”.