Disney Stock Jumps After Bob Iger’s Return

Bob Iger is back. As announced late on Sunday, the veteran studio head has unexpectedly returned to Disney and resumed his role as CEO of the company. Iger had retired earlier in 2021, ending more than two decades as Disney’s president and CEO. Bob Chapek, a 26-year Disney veteran in his own right, was announced as Iger’s successor in February 2020 and would take over all responsibilities once Iger officially left Disney at the end of 2021, which he did for most of 2022. Last summer, Chapek even signed a three-year extension to stay on as CEO of Disney, only to leave the company just five months later.

While the move was a shocking and sudden shift in power, investors are excited about Iger’s comeback. As reported by VarietyDisney’s shares were up “more than 8 percent” in early trading Monday.

MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson specifically praised Iger’s return, highlighting that the longtime CEO is largely responsible for making Disney what it is today.

“We applaud the Disney board for having the courage to make this change,” Nathanson wrote. “We have never hidden our affection for Mr. Iger and the work he did to build Disney into the global powerhouse it has become.”

This stock increase comes at a good time for Disney. Just two weeks ago, during its quarterly report, the House of Mouse revealed its lowest stock prices in more than two years, including an operating loss of $1.47 billion in its streaming segment (Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu). Aside from that, the company indicated that early 2023 forecasts would include larger declines than initially expected.

Iger’s return is only temporary, as he will serve as CEO for a two-year term. Over the next 24 months, Disney has mandated Iger to set “the strategic direction for renewed growth” and work closely “with the Board of Directors in developing a successor to lead the company at the end of his term.” .”

“I am extremely optimistic about the future of this great company and I am thrilled that the board of directors is asking me to return as CEO,” Iger said in a statement. “Disney and its incomparable brands and franchises hold a special place in the hearts of so many people around the world – especially in the hearts of our employees, whose dedication to this company and its mission is an inspiration. I am deeply honored to be asked to once again lead this remarkable team, with a clear mission of creative excellence to inspire generations through unparalleled, bold storytelling.”

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