Business Insider Report Says Bob Iger Regrets Picking Bob Chapek as Successor

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According to a new report from Initiated, tensions between Disney CEO Bob Iger and current CEO Bob Chapek have risen in Iger’s final months with the company. In turn, Iger would regret his decision to appoint Chapek as his successor.

What is happening:

  • When Bob Iger stepped down as CEO of Disney, he planned to mentor successor Bob Chapek during a two-year transfer, but according to Insider sources, the transfer didn’t go as Iger had planned.
  • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of the company’s plans, including Iger’s succession.
  • Iger was still engaged and just thought that with the successful launch of Disney+ in 2019, the company was in good shape for a transfer.
  • “It was Bob Iger’s desire to move the timeline forward – and if COVID hadn’t happened, none of this comes between [him and Bob Chapek] would have transpired,” a Disney executive said, referring to the friction that developed between the two men before Iger’s final exit. “The board was surprised; it was several months before his departure date.”
  • However, another source said, “If he had known and understood the magnitude of the pandemic, he never would have quit when he did,” said a second former Disney executive.
  • According to the report, Iger began to disagree with many of Chapek’s decisions and lobbied the board to bolster his authority as executive chairman while he was still with the company.
  • Iger’s public assertion of power would have been “a slap in the face” for Chapek.
  • Iger has indicated, privately and in one instance on Twitter, his disagreement with his successor choices since his departure in December.
  • As a result, Iger apparently said his selection of Chapek as his successor was a mistake, calling it one of his worst business decisions.
  • This isn’t the first time there have been reports of tension between the Bobs. In March, a CNBC article revealed an apparent estrangement between the two leaders.
  • Last week, the pair were spotted at the Allen & Co. tycoons retreat in Sun Valley. The two exchanged a cordial greeting but that was it, according to a person who was there.
  • Disney’s Board of Directors recently extended Bob Chapek’s contract for three additional years following a unanimous vote.
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