It was a whole week ago now that Disney shocked the world of entertainment, with the sudden a brutal axing of Bob Chapek as CEO with zero warning, and the immediate reinstatement of Bob Iger. This was after Chapek had served a just over two years since taking over from Iger.
Now the jungle drums are starting from inside Disney and “anonymous sources” are talking about what was going on inside the House Of Mouse. There were many rumors, but when it is The Wall Street Journal, then it could be time to take is seriously.
The stories are of struggles internally, and Iger seemingly unable to fully let go, with his role as Executive Chairman undermining Chapek through some very clear differences of opinion and ideas on direction.
Among the revelations in the article is the news that Iger would fixate upon the issues at Disney, and problems with Chapek’s decisions, so much at certain lunch appointments around Hollywood that it became uncomfortable for those dining with him.
It seems Iger’s view sometimes echoed a Last Movie Outpost editorial on the subject. His issues included theme park prices being too steep for most people, too much focus on Disney+ and not enough quality elsewhere.
Iger apparently also felt Chapek was too reactive to the share price and had undermined Chapek around the timing for COVID related furlough of staff.
Several executives working at Disney would contact Iger themselves to share their frustrations. A board member phoned Iger directly at home to sound him out about a return so that by the time Disney board Chairwoman Susan Arnold called to offer him the job, it was a done deal.
The Wall Street Journal also alleges that the board saw Chapek’s response to the Florida state government’s Parental Rights in Education legislation, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, as bungled and talked about replacing him then.
Iger was in favor of going harder against it, faster. Chapek’s response was felt to be slow and unclear. A reminder that the journey of Disney from the wholesome and all American brand to the current struggling, yet achingly progressive organisation started under Iger’s watch.