Less then a month after announcing he was stepping away as CEO to focus on a more creative role for the Walt Disney Company, chairman Bob Iger quietly retained CEO responsibilities amidst the coronavirus epidemic which has had a major financial impact on the company.
In a brand new piece from the New York Times, they report that Iger, who was beginning his transition from CEO to creative chairman has now been put in the position to retake control as CEO and steer the ship at Disney in a dark time the company has never seen before.
Per the New York Times:
“And now, Mr. Iger has effectively returned to running the company. After a few weeks of letting Mr. Chapek take charge, Mr. Iger smoothly reasserted control, BlueJeans video call by BlueJeans video call. (Disney does not use Zoom for its meetings for security reasons.)
The new, nominal chief executive is referred to, almost kindergarten style, as “Bob C,” while Mr. Iger is still just “Bob.” And his title is “executive chairman” — emphasis on the first word.
Mr. Iger is now intensely focused on remaking a company that will emerge, he believes, deeply changed by the crisis. The sketch he has drawn for associates offers a glimpse at the post-pandemic future: It’s a Disney with fewer employees, leading the new and uncertain business of how to gather people safely for entertainment.”
Disney Parks around the world remain “closed until further notice” and furloughs of cast members and film studio employees have begun. Iger recently stated in an interview that the parks will take on new health and safety measures to make sure they are taking care of staff and guests, as well as prepare for future epidemics moving forward. The New York Times continues, sharing in a little more detail what Iger plans to do.
“Mr. Iger, meanwhile, is trying to figure out what the company will look like after the crisis. One central challenge is to establish best practices for the company and the industry on how to bring people back to the parks and rides while avoiding the virus’s spread — using measures like taking visitors’ temperatures.
Mr. Iger also sees this as a moment, he has told associates, to look across the business and permanently change how it operates. He’s told them that he anticipates ending expensive old-school television practices like advertising upfronts and producing pilots for programs that may never air. Disney is also likely to reopen with less office space. He’s also told two people that he anticipated the company having fewer employees. (Mr. Iger said in an email on Sunday evening that he had “no recollection of ever having said” that he expected a smaller work force. “Regardless, any decision about staff reductions will be made by my successor and not me,” he added.)”
Bob Chapek will remain acting CEO alongside Iger as they continue the transition, but sadly the coronavirus epidemic has forced Iger (a top leader in the entertainment industry) to help steer these rocky waters. it is unknown how long the Iger will be taking on these responsibilities again.
As previously stated parks remain closed worldwide. All of Disney’s film production slate is on hold, with pre-production being done remotely. Last week, the company reshuffled its theatrical release calendar, Disney+ series in various stages of production is also expected to get shuffled.
you can read the full article which goes into far more detail over at the New York Times.