In an announcement on Sunday, Disney said the company is firing CEO Bob Chapek and will be replacing him with the company’s former leader, Robert A. Iger. The shakeup comes 11 months after Iger left Disney and weeks after Chapek announced mass layoffs in an attempt to patch its financial ditch.
The entertainment giant’s outbound CEO Chapek’s tenure has been riddled with controversies, including a recent squabble with the State of Florida over legislation, namely Florida’s HB 1557, a bill which sought to bar teachers from discussing sexual topics with students unless they were in fourth grade or higher.
In March, the Manhattan Institute released videos from a Disney staff meeting to discuss the bill, as well as Disney’s efforts to advocate for progressive gender ideology. According to the footage, one executive producer said that she was easily able to implement her “not-at-all secret gay agenda” in one show while another Disney manager highlighted the company’s move to drop “gendered greetings” from communications.
Disney issued a public statement condemning Florida’s ‘Parental Rights In Education’ bill, pledged to halt political donations to officials who supported the bill, created an LGBT task force, and promised to produce more content for children highlighting untraditional sexual orientation.
The company faced immediate backlash for injecting itself into politics, including from Florida state legislators who stripped the company of its self-governing authority, which allowed the company to operate as an independent government at its Orlando-area theme parks.
Over the last year, amid an ailing economy, Disney stock has fallen over 40 percent and saw a net operating loss of USD 1.47 billion last quarter. Its woes have been blamed on a series of decisions that have alienated its family-minded customer base.
A statement made by Susan Arnold, Chairman of the Board for Disney on Sunday reads, “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.”
The personnel change by Disney was immediately rewarded, as shares of Dow 30 component Disney jumped in early trading Monday.