You don’t normally expect major news to drop late on a Sunday evening, but an absolute bombshell hit at about 7pm pacific time last night when the Walt Disney Company dropped a press release announcing that CEO Bob Chepek was out. Plus former CEO Bob Iger will be returning to the company for a period of two years. The internet went absolutely bonkers, like the galactic empire had just been defeated.
It’s not exactly news to say that Bob Chapek wasn’t the most popular person at Disney among fans, but the fans at the theme parks aren’t the only people celebrating. Big names from within Disney, those that wouldn’t normally wade into a political minefield by picking sides, are making it clear that they are very happy with this change.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. Welcome home @RobertIger ❤️❤️❤️- the GOAT is back!!!!November 21, 2022
Josh Gad has done everything at Disney from being the voice of Olaf in Frozen to performing in live-action films to narrating Disney+ shows about Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He’s an avid fan of Disney Parks. His career is as closely tied to the Walt Disney Company as anybody. Gad can certainly be outspoken when he thinks Disney is screwing up, but he’s clearly had an opinion on the state of things within the organization.
And he’s not the only one. Matt Martin works within the Lucasfilm Story Group, and while he, like Gad, doesn’t specifically say anything bad about Bob Chapek, he does make it clear that he has very strong, and positive, feelings about the former CEO who is now the new CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
There’s something oddly comforting about seeing “A Message from Bob Iger” in my inbox again.November 21, 2022
But of course, there have been a lot of fans that really were unhappy with the direction of The Walt Disney Company under Chapek, and are hopeful that Iger’s return signals a significant change in the company that will return things back to a state of success.
I know the “Iger has problems, actually” takes are going to start quick but give us 24 hrs to celebrate Chapek’s defeat before we go there. It has been a LONG and DIFFICULT couple of years and we need this moment of healingNovember 21, 2022
Bob Iger’s success at CEO is unquestionable, so it ‘s understandable that people would be happy. At the same time, we don’t really know what happens next, so some, like Disney heir Abigail Disney, who has never shied away from being critical of Disney as a company, is very much taking a wait and see approach.
Hoooey. Now this is interesting. In Hollywood stunner, Robert Iger returns to head Disney as Bob Chapek exits https://t.co/KPjEdDT2guNovember 21, 2022
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see what happens here. While Bob Chapek is a known quantity, and generally well liked by both fans and Wall Street, it has to be said a move like this is unprecedented within Disney. Certainly there was a feeling that change needed to be made, but how much things will change at the studio or the theme parks, and how fast, is a big question that everybody will be looking to answer.