CEO Bob Iger Reportedly Believed Chapek Was “Killing the Soul” of The Walt Disney Company

Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly had some major concerns about Bob Chapek when Chapek was the CEO, including the feeling that Chapek was “killing the soul of the company.”


According to The Wall Street Journal, Iger had a difficult time handing over the reins after he retired from his position as CEO in 2020, and he had a habit of interfering at the company, which Chapek sometimes felt “undermined” his role as a leader.

Bob Iger announced in late February 2020 that he was retiring from his position as CEO and would be succeeded by Bob Chapek. Iger would remain at The Walt Disney Company as the executive chairman of the Board.

Bob Iger ©New York Post

Apparently, the first signs of tension between the 2 men came less than a month later, when they “were at odds over Mr. Chapek’s plan to lay off tens of thousands of workers at Disney’s theme parks as Covid-19 hit,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Chapek confided to some that this made him “feel as though he had been undermined from the start,” and the idea “infuriated” him.


Iger continued to be involved in the happenings at Disney and frequently commented on Chapek’s decisions both privately and publicly. The WSJ reported that “some associates said Mr. Iger would fixate on the topic [of Bob Chapek] so much that it became uncomfortable.”

Joseph Yaffe (who advises on corporate governance) said that some former CEOs are “simply unable to take their hands off the wheel,” which seemed to be the case with Iger. Chapek reportedly complained to his inner circle that Iger “was interfering in day-to-day matters that were supposed to be the CEO’s domain.”


Reports say that Iger felt Chapek had “given priority” to Disney’s streaming business “at the expense of other parts of Disney, like cable television and the theme parks.” In fact, Iger was “alarmed by increases in prices at Disney theme parks,” which Chapek felt would “boost revenue and limit overcrowding.”

Main Street

Iger apparently told more than one person that Chapek was “killing the soul of the company.” Now, some associates have said that Iger told them “he has another priority beyond righting the company’s finances.” He plans “to be more involved in the CEO succession process this time around.”

©Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Chapek has long been considered the “finance guy,” whereas Iger is thought to be the “content guy.” Chapek’s experience with balancing the numbers and cutting costs was likely what led to Disney’s successful recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he lacked the charisma and finesse to win the positive opinion of many Disney fans, and as Disney continued to lose money on its streaming services, the company turned to Iger in the hope that he could turn things around.

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The post CEO Bob Iger Reportedly Believed Chapek Was “Killing the Soul” of The Walt Disney Company first appeared on the disney food blog.