Bob Iger Regrets Making Bob Chapek Disney CEO

Former head of Disney Bob Iger is sorry for making Bob Chapek the CEO of Disney. 

A former Disney executive told Insider that Iger rushed into a succession plan to appease the Disney board and has come to regret both the transition and elevation of Chapek.

“He said he was tired of being harangued about [succession] and said, ‘Fine, you guys have someone else run the business,'” the former exec told the outlet. “He greatly regretted it as soon as COVID hit.”

Iger describes the move as one of his “worst business decisions,” the report claims.

Iger’s sooner-than-expected departure from the CEO role also upset the Disney board. Interestingly, the board pushed for other candidates, but Iger was sold on Chapek.

The board had suggested making Chapek a COO first while Iger extended his time as CEO. Iger rejected this proposal.

The plan was for Chapek to report to Iger, who would mentor him, but the relationship soured after a disagreement on how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.

“If [Iger] had known and understood the scope of the pandemic, he never would have stepped down when he did,” the exec adds.

People familiar with the matter say Iger and Chapek both formed their own advisory teams that ultimately competed with each other.

We first heard of tensions in March when CNBC detailed a falling out that led to the two of them rarely speaking.

Problems between Iger and Chapek have worsened since the transition. The report says that Iger considers Chapnek a “novice” and took issue with Chapnek’s delayed reaction to a Florida bill mistakenly dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”

When Chapnek initially remained silent on the bill, Iger publicly contradicted Chapnek by saying he agreed with President Biden’s stance that it was a “hateful bill.”

Chapnek eventually caved and opposed the bill that has since become law. Disney has since led the outrage against the law, which essentially bans the discussion of sex with students in third grade and younger. 

Though Chapnek pretending to go woke eased tensions between himself and staffers, it led to Florida legislation eliminating Disney’s special tax district.

But while Chapnek no longer has Iger in his corner, the Disney board showed confidence in him in June. Last month, Chapnek signed a three-year contract extension that includes significant bonuses. 

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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