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Disney CEO Bob Iger steps down, replaced by Bob Chapek

11 posts in this topic

So it has been announced in the last 24 hours that Bob Iger has stepped down as Disney CEO, being replaced by Bob Chapek who had been chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Iger is to remain at Disney as an executive chairman till the end of his contract (expiring end of 2021); focusing on creative content within the company. 

Chapek will take control of day-to-day operations of the business, with Iger acting as a mentor to Chapek during this transition. 

Iger worked for the company for 27 years, with 15 being at the helm of Disney. During his time as CEO, he was involved in the acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilms, 20th Century Fox, and launching Disney Plus. 

 

News article talking about this announcement is linked below:

https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/25/21153317/bob-iger-disney-ceo-steps-down-chapek-kevin-mayer-parks-products-succession

 

I would like to gauge parkz members reaction to the news, and how they believe Chapek will impact/shape Disney theme parks globally. 

Reading several other online forums (i.e. micechat, reddit), many share a negative opinion about Chapek, stating that he has a focus on pushing IP's within parks rather than creating original experiences. According to these forums, he has also been responsible for implementing demand pricing at the Disney Parks, reducing the range of park merchandise, reducing live entertainment, cheaply re-skinning Pixar Pier, GotG ride (previously Hollywood Tower), and cutting budgets to the Avatar and Galaxy's Edges lands which has resulted in a shortened navi river ride, and less interactivity at each of the lands respectively. 

In my opinion, its hard to know with a lot of the decisions, how much input was from Chapek himself, and how much was passed down onto him by Iger. 

I respect that Disney is a business, though I wonder if Chapek will turn the Disney Parks into IP shopping malls and focus the rides on the IP's rather than creating genuine and immersive experiences. 

Edited by cheski

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Many of the qualities being spruiked about Chapek are similar to the qualities shown by Eisner after the death of Frank Wells - but he's well regarded as the guy that saved Disney from bankruptcy and hostile takeovers.

Let's face it - Chapek is in the role because the shareholders like what he's doing - because what he's doing saves money, which ultimately goes to the shareholders.

I've heard some people say his short term gains will hurt the company long term, as it's reducing the quality of 'the show', which is what people flock to Disney for.

The flip side of this is that cuts to navi, GE, GotG, Pixar Pier, the as-yet-to-be-fixed Yeti... - there have been many recent examples of Disney delivering a reduced standard. At the same time, they've increased prices, and attendance has remained 'about the same'.

What do we learn from that? We learn that the Brand has built enough of a reputation that people will keep coming back, even with a lower quality product.... and this tells the shareholders and the executives that they can afford to keep being cheap.

Until people vote with their wallets about the reduced standards, Disney products across the board will continue to be Chapek'd.

Of course, the other theory, is with such big successes in prior years, with the opening of major properties both in the parks division and movie divisions, and the launch of their streaming services and so on and so on, there's not alot slated for this year - so returns to investors this year are likely to be slim. Disney+ is apparently making a loss, Corona has shut down both Hong Kong and Shanghai Parks, and both Tokyo parks are at risk too - this year is looking to be a disaster, and perhaps Iger stepped aside in order to avoid the mud that would stick to the top job.

I don't particularly believe in this theory - Chapek has been groomed for the top job for too long for him to be a simple 'fall guy'... but at the end of the day, all we can do is wait...

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What I’ve heard about this new guy is he isn’t good. If something isn’t making money or getting people’s attention, it will be removed or changed, no matter how iconic or important that thing may be. He’s all about that money. I was very disappointed to hear the new that Iger was stepping down, even though we knew it was coming. He has done some iconic things and I hope it doesn’t go down hill from here. I would say for the next couple of years we will be alright because most of things things are already planned or underway. But from say 2023-25, that’s when the Chapek wave will kick in.

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12 minutes ago, themagician said:

If something isn’t making money or getting people’s attention, it will be removed or changed, no matter how iconic or important that thing may be

As much as many people think Nostalgia is valuable - Disney is a business. if it stops making money, its gone.

And when you combine that with people still taking their wallet on vacation year after year, despite closing or changing some 'classics'...well.... why would you keep something that wasn't profitable?

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I've seen a lot of Chapek hate on reddit recently, mostly complaining about how 'he made the parks worse'. But in my opinion, he still brought some of the most incredible things to the parks, Pandora, GE, Toy Story Land, New Epcot. Which while they aren't exactly as the concept, they have still come to the parks and are still plussing, just done so in a budget that is achievable. I think he is the logical successor and am very excited to see what else he brings in the future. 

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