CNBC has released an article that asked 10 media executives to offer up predictions for the industry in 2022. One of the predictions that they reported on was that Bob Iger would return as Disney CEO in 2022.
According to one anonymous executive, there are internal wagers that Iger will return as Disney CEO in 2022 amidst sliding stock price and stagnant Disney+ growth.
The premise of the CNBC article is that of significant predictions. While it might be easy to dismiss the article as nonsense, it’s unlikely that the prediction simply came from an angle of clickbait. We imagine that there is some substance behind the prediction.
That said, while Iger has made a habit of extending his contract as CEO multiple times over the past 5-10 years, we think it’s unlikely that Iger will return as CEO in 2022.
While the CNBC article doesn’t offer much in the way of substance to support the prediction, there is evidence that the changing of the guard from Iger to Bob Chapek is not going to reverse course.
For starters, Chapek is Iger’s hand-picked successor. Chapek has Iger’s vote of confidence and Iger would presumably not have stepped down if he didn’t have faith in Chapek.
To that end, there have been a number of Disney executives that have also announced that they will be leaving with Iger. Longtime General Counsel Alan Braverman and communications chief Zenia Mucha are leaving at the end of this year. Other execs such as Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn and Disney Branded Television’s Gary Marsh are also leaving. The wheels are not only in motion but cruising down the exit ramp.
Back in March 2021, Iger reiterated that he would be leaving at the end of 2021 and in June he sold nearly $100 million in Disney stock. All signs are pointing to his exit being permanent, but only time will tell.
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