(TheRedWire.com) – Roy and Walt Disney founded the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio on October 16, 1923. It would become known as the Walt Disney Company. For generations, it has had a substantial impact on the entertainment industry. Today, its media influence is widespread, and it’s one of the world’s largest entertainment companies.
In 2022, the massive media company endured numerous challenges under Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, including a bruising political fight with Florida conservatives that saw Disney lose its self-governing authority, arguments over multiple woke policies, a boardroom clash with the chief financial officer, and billions of dollars in losses in the streaming division. In the wake of the problems, the CFO helped undermine and oust the woke CEO.
Chapek Out at Disney as Longtime CEO Returns
On Saturday, December 17, the Wall Street Journal detailed how former CEO and Chairman Bob Iger acted as a shadow CEO. He undermined Chapek, told people close to him that his handpicked replacement was doing a poor job, and stated he was incompetent. As the CEO made a series of questionable moves, the Journal noted that Iger “waited in the wings.”
Eleven months after retiring, Iger got a call from Board Chair Susan Arnold asking him to return as the company’s leader on November 16. Two days earlier, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Christine McCarthy had talked with the retired CEO about her feelings towards Chapek. Arnold stated the returning leader was “uniquely situated to lead the company through this pivotal period.” She thanked him for his service to the entertainment conglomerate and for navigating the organization through the pandemic.
The move came after the board unanimously renewed Chapek’s contract through 2024 in June. In late September, McCarthy told the board that the corporation would likely miss revenue and profit expectations in the fourth quarter as streaming losses mounted at the numbers dropped at theme parks. As a result, he didn’t allow her to attend the October board meeting and complained she didn’t provide them with the numbers ahead of the September meeting.
In a November 8 earnings call, the feud between the CEO and CFO came to a head.
In a nearly hour-long call, Chapek failed to tell investors that Disney had lost over $1.47 billion in streaming revenues. Instead, he talked about other successes. The following day, the stock value dropped 13.2%, making it one of the company’s largest single-day drops in its history.
Iger Prepared To Set the Ship Straight
Disney’s wayward struggles are Iger’s to set straight. The stock is meandering near three-year lows. The organization’s market capitalization is half what it was a year ago, as shareholder portfolios lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
In an email to employees, the longtime CEO said he would begin making organizational and operational changes. Iger said he intends to “restructure things” to honor and respect creativity.
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