Chapek and Iger’s friendship strained under the pressures of the Disney leadership transition…
For anyone paying attention, it remains clear.
Former Disney CEO Bob Iger and current boardroom boss Bob Chapek employ very different personal and professional styles.
And as a result, The Walt Disney Company, under each man, looks and acts incredibly differently.
Bob Versus Bob?
Moreover, according to reports — and any quick perusal of Disney media clips — the friendship between Disney’s former and current head has cooled.
On March 20, and referring to March 2020 New York Times story regarding Iger’s plan to retain at least partial control of The Mouse during the COVID-19 pandemic, Alex Sherman of CNBC wrote:
Chapek was furious when he saw the story, according to three people familiar with the matter. He had not expressed a need or desire for extra help. He wasn’t looking for a white knight. Iger had postponed his retirement as CEO three times already. Chapek felt he was essentially doing it again, leaving him as a hapless second banana, according to people familiar with his thoughts…Three days after Smith’s story was published, Disney accelerated its timeline and named Chapek to its board.
However, according to Sherman, that wasn’t the only straw that broke Bob C’s back. And in the aftermath of Iger’s maintaining a measure of control, the two men “barely spoke to each other.”
Sherman further explained that the massive shake-up of the organization and Chapek’s media “handling” of the Scarlett Johansson salary situation occurred with Disney leadership out of lockstep.
Meanwhile, Iger’s 2021 going away festivities appeared less than amiable.
“Iger and Chapek sat at opposite tables,” explained Sherman. “Chapek sat near several of his direct reports, including Daniel. Iger sat next to film director and mogul Steven Spielberg. While Iger spent about 10 minutes publicly praising former colleagues, he barely mentioned Chapek…”
Comparing Bob and Bob
But the media hasn’t forgotten either “Bob.”
For example, earlier in March 2022, Chapek created a media firestorm and annoyed many of his employees and Disney fans by acquiescing to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay bill.”
That debacle, and other clear distinctions between the men and their leadership styles, continue to play out on the net and in print.
Check out the full Sherman story in CNBC for an excellent precis regarding the latest chapter in Disney’s ongoing boardroom battles.
Be sure to keep it here on The DisInsider for the latest on the trials and tribulations at the top of The Walt Disney Company.