The Walt Disney Company has extended CEO Bob Chapek’s contract for three years, the board announced on June 28, 2022. The vote was unanimous and took place at a meeting at Walt Disney World ahead of the debut of Disney Wish tomorrow.
“Disney has been hit hard by the pandemic, but with Bob at the helm, our businesses — from parks to streaming — have not only weathered the storm, but emerged into a position of strength,” said Susan Arnold, president of Walt Disney. the company’s board of directors, in a statement on Tuesday.
“During this important time of growth and transformation, the Board of Directors is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob’s leadership is critical to achieving that goal. Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board of Directors has complete confidence in him and his management team.
Chapek has worked for the Walt Disney Company for nearly 30 years and is the 7th CEO in nearly 100 years. He took over from Bob Iger in 2020 just as the pandemic had closed parks in Asia, and just weeks before Walt Disney World and Disneyland closed.
Since becoming CEO, Bob Chapek has endured multiple controversies. It started with a rumored falling out between Chapek and former CEO and then executive chairman Bob Iger. There was various articles on the tensions between Bob Iger and Bob Chapek.
All of this was exacerbated by the bomb Black Widow lawsuit filed by Scarlett Johansson against Disneywith insiders blame CEO Bob Chapek for handling this embarrassing incident.
This year, there have been high-profile political clashes between The Walt Disney Company and Florida, with Chapek and Governor Ron DeSantis at odds. It wouldn’t be partisan to say that Chapek has pulled off the rare feat of alienating just about everyone across the political spectrum.
This made headlines for weeks and resulted in Florida Passes Bills to Disband Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. Books will one day be written on this saga, but we will only make a few brief paragraphs here because you are undoubtedly aware of what happened!
When it comes to theme parks, Chapek has developed or advanced several unpopular initiatives. He announced Disney Genie a few years ago as head of Parks & Resorts, and paid service FastPass debuted while he was CEO.
Other controversial decisions have also been made under Chapek’s tenure as CEO. These include the end of Disney’s Magical Express, the Disney Park Pass reservation system, construction delays, a disappointing 50th anniversary celebration, a variety of price increases, and more that I’m probably forgetting right now. particular.
Prior to becoming CEO, Bob Chapek served as President of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. In this role, Chapek oversaw the company’s largest business segment, with worldwide operations and more than 170,000 employees worldwide. The segment includes Disney’s travel and leisure businesses, encompassing six resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, and others.
Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business for toys, apparel, homeware, digital games and apps, the world’s largest children’s print publisher, Disney stores worldwide and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.
During his tenure in the Parks segment, Mr. Chapek oversaw the opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort; the addition of numerous guest offerings across Disney’s six resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia.
This included the creation of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. It also encompassed the development of Marvel lands and attractions around the world and the expansion of Disney Cruise Line with the announced construction of three new ships.
From 2011 to 2015, Mr. Chapek served as President of Disney’s former Consumer Products segment, where he led the technology-driven transformation of Disney’s consumer products, retail and publishing businesses. the society.
Previously, he served as President of Distribution for Walt Disney Studios and was responsible for overseeing the studios overall content distribution strategy across multiple platforms, including theatrical exposure, home entertainment, pay TV, entertainment digital and new media.
As for our thoughts on Bob Chapek as CEO of The Walt Disney Company…ehhh.
We don’t normally offer commentary on The Walt Disney Company’s executive leadership because it’s difficult to do so from the outside. Quite simply, the fans see what we want to see. We see things in reductionist terms and can be manipulated by internal and external corporate agendas. Therefore, it is easy to describe leadership in familiar Disney fairy tale terms.
There is always a villain, the one who is blamed for the gratuitous injection of intellectual property into attractions. There’s also usually an underdog hero – the one who “gets” Disney and would save the parks and restore Epcot’s original vision if they just had a little more power.
There may be some truth in all of this, but just as much is attributable to media literacy (or lack thereof) and how leaders present themselves and shape their own public image. Just look at how scrutinized Chapek is over new Parks & Resorts president Josh D’Amaro. The latter was certainly the one who Actually making and executing many unpopular decisions over the past 2 years, yet it flies largely under the radar and escapes fan criticism.
That said, our outsider’s take on Bob Chapek isn’t exactly brilliant. In fact, my perception from the start was that Chapek was seen even internally as a henchman. That means he’s likely had to execute some tough and unpopular decisions during the pandemic to give the company some sort of reset.
With that nasty task done, I expected Chapek to leave as the sun went down, enjoying his riches as the company put on a new face to take credit for the popular and more positive changes.
This has only grown stronger in recent months. So many of Chapek’s decisions, even from the outside, seemed to have been made with one eye on the short term. His handling of so much felt awkward, to put it charitably.
I must also admit that he was roughed up from the start, taking over the company at a time when unpopular decisions needed to be made. Some of what happened during his tenure (like paid FastPass) was years to come, doom sooner or later.
He’s certainly had his share of unforced errors and poor decisions, but he’s also been in plenty of no-win situations. (Honestly, I’m more than a little bitter that Iger kept expanding for years, but jumped ship when he knew things were going to get bad. I think a lot of this could have been handled better with him at the helm, handing over to Chapek at this time.)
With all that said, I still can’t, I’m thrilled with this news. Nothing Chapek has done has reassured me that he is the right leader or that he is “getting” the Walt Disney Company or its rich creative heritage. I have concerns about what the company, Walt Disney World and Disneyland will look like in 3 years under his leadership.
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What do you think of the fact that Bob Chapek has extended his contract as CEO of the Walt Disney Company for 3 years? Do you think that’s appropriate given the work he’s done, or did this news take you by surprise? Questions? We love to hear from readers, so feel free to share any other thoughts or questions you have in the comments below!