Back in March, when it was announced that Disney CEO Bob Iger would be stepping down and handing over the reins to Bob Chapek, people were shocked by the sudden move. However, as it was later revealed, this move is something that had been in the works for a while, and Iger’s new role would still be within the company, allowing for him to help when needed. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US and the rest of the world, leading to Disney having to take drastic measures, including Iger stepping up to help run the company.
According to a New York Times report, Iger’s dream of handing over the company has experienced a bit of a delay, as the former Disney CEO is now being relied on to help steer the company through this global pandemic. While the report claims that this is Iger effectively retaining his CEO label, the Disney executive sees himself as a guide for the new CEO, Chapek.
“A crisis of this magnitude, and its impact on Disney, would necessarily result in my actively helping Bob [Chapek] and the company contend with it, particularly since I ran the company for 15 years!” Iger said.
It appears that through all of this, the two Bobs can be found side-by-side, helping shape the way Disney handles the growing issues stemming from the pandemic, as well as how the company will navigate its post-Coronavirus future.
According to the NY Times report, Iger has already proposed some new initiatives to help streamline Disney operations:
“He’s told them that he anticipates ending expensive old-school television practices like advertising upfronts and producing pilots for programs that may never air. Disney is also likely to reopen with less office space. He’s also told two people that he anticipated the company having fewer employees.”
While he didn’t confirm that he said the bit about having fewer employees, Iger said, “Regardless, any decision about staff reductions will be made by my successor and not me.”
It seems as if Iger’s desire to step away from the CEO role in Disney is going to have to take a back seat for the time being. We’ll just have to wait and see if his guidance will make the difference with how Disney deals with the fallout of this global disaster.