Financial Analyst Calls For Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company Board, And Executive Management To Be Axed After Damning CNBC Report
Financial analyst Valliant Renegade, who has repeatedly reported on what he sees as poor business decisions from The Walt Disney Company, called for Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company's board, and its executive management to be canned following a damning CNBC Report.
Financial analyst Valliant Renegade, who has repeatedly reported on what he sees as poor business decisions from The Walt Disney Company, called for Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company’s board, and its executive management to be canned following a damning CNBC Report.
Valliant Renegade declared, “This is what Bob Iger does. He’s a snake in the grass. And the House of Mouse will never regain its former glory that we knew from years ago as long as Bob Iger is still in any way associated with this company.”
He added, “Nor will it have a chance provided that Bob Iger’s puppet board is allowed to remain to stay where they are with his hand up their collective asses. This is a fire sale, folks. Every damn one of them needs to go. All of them. Everybody from the senior executive management level and beyond. They all need to go.”
This call for complete leadership change at The Walt Disney Company follows a damning CNBC report by Alex Sherman that recounts the turmoil at the company and the strife between former and now current CEO Bob Iger and his successor and now former CEO Bob Chapek.
Sherman shares his opinion that, “The story of the Chapek era is timeless in its own way. It’s a tale of how good intentions clashed with hubris and ego to erode one of th emost famous organizations in the world — a case study in corporate dysfunction and succession gone wrong.”
He then notes this this opinion was formed “based on conversations with more than 25 people who worked closely with Iger and Chapek at Disney between 2020 and 2022.”
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In fact, Sherman reveals that while Iger stepped down as CEO, he never actually left his office, something that Valliant Renegade and scooper WDW Pro have reported for months.
Sherman states, “Iger had no interest in moving out. He wasn’t truly leaving Disney, anyway. His succession plan allowed him to stay on as executive chairman for 22 months. Chapek would report to him and the board. Iger would also ‘direct the company’s creative endeavors’ — nebulous phrasing suggesting he would retain control of movie and TV content and operations.”
Valliant Renegade notes that even Sherman’s lengthy report misses some key information as well. Specifically, Valliant Renegade claims that Iger signed a five-year advisory contract with The Walt Disney Company.
He explained, “When Iger retired earlier that year or at least January 1st of the year in 2022, the first time as the Executive Chairman of the Board, finally giving Bob Chapek breathing room as it were. Only 11 months of breathing room as it were. But that being the case, Bob Iger still managed to retain a five-year advisory contract with The Walt Disney Company after he left the Board and the CEO position.”
“Meaning Bob Iger was still hanging around looming behind the scenes, working against Bob Chapek as this article will display. And guess what? When Bob Iger leaves again in 2026 or at least so we think he will, that whole five years is renewed. Meaning that Bob Iger isn’t actually leaving The Walt Disney Company until 2031,” Valliant Renegade elaborated.
As Valliant Renegade noted, Sherman goes on to explain how Iger worked against Chapek. First, he shared a quote from one anonymous source, allegedly a friend of Chapek. This source said Chapek described his tenure at Disney as “about three years of hell.” The reason he described it that way? Sherman shares, “His unrelenting fear that Iger wanted his job back.”
Sherman begins to detail how Iger worked to undermine Chapek. He went over his head about a decision to furlough 100,000 park employees after Disney World closed it gates. Chapek wanted to furlough them immediately while Iger wanted to wait for the government to pass a bill giving the employees more assistance.
The CNBC reporter explained, “Iger called then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, to ask them how close the U.S. government was to passing the bill. Ten days, they told him. Though it wasn’t a creative issue, Iger overruled Chapek. Disney didn’t furlough employees until April.”
Next, Iger spoke with Ben Smith’s The New York Times and confirmed he was still running the company, “A crisis of this magnitude, and its impact on Disney, would necessarily result in my actively helping Bob and the company contend with it, particularly since I ran the company for 15 years!”
Sherman reports, “Chapek was furious. He called Iger and told him he didn’t need a savior, dropping a carefully placed expletive or two, according to people with knowledge of the call.”
And it appears it wasn’t just Chapek believing Iger was undermining. Sherman claims that Susan Arnold, Chair of The Walt Disney Company, had “a strongly worded conversation with Iger about setting [Chapek] up for success rather than undermining him.”
Next, Sherman reports that Iger reported to the Board that Chapek “wasn’t exhibiting proper leadership qualities” and that he “believed Chapek should be working more closely with” him.
Sherman goes on to note that Iger and Chapek feuded over a number of public scandals that The Walt Disney Company got involved in as well as Bob Chapek’s plan to restructure the studio side of the company to position it as more of a technology company to attract investors and increase the company’s stock price.
This restructuring and the decision to release Black Widow to Disney+ via a premium model on the same day it released to theaters led to Scarlet Johansson eventually suing the company and Iger and Chapek laying the blame at each other’s feet.
Sherman also recounted how Bob Iger had made it abundantly clear he had no qualms involving the company in political endeavors to promote causes such as “climate change, diversity, and abortion.”
According to CNBC, Chapek wanted to court a different path. “He wanted Disneney to stay out of political skirmishes entirely and instead signal its values through ‘three Cs’: content, culture and community oraganization supported by Disney.”
These different approaches came to a head when Bob Iger denounced Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act writing on Twitter, “If passed, this bill will put vulnerable, young LGBTQ people in jeopardy.” The bill, which is now law, prevents the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation to children in kindergarten through third grade.
Sherman would also mention conflicts over plans for ESPN and ABC and even noted that Chapek believed Iger would continue to work from the outside against him.
Specifically, the CNBC report claims that after Chapek received a contract extension through 2025, “he feared Iger might turn up the heat against him — especially now that Iger was no longer bound by any fiduciary duties as chairman.”
Those fears would be realized when Chapek was fired in November 2022 and they brought Iger back in.
Summarizing the report, Valliant Renegade stated, “Iger’s plan seems like it was always sabotage and subterfuge. He was there to undermine Chapek. He was just getting out long enough to look like that, ‘Hey, I’ve retired. I tried to move on, but I person this in that I deliberately meant to sack his entire career as CEO so I could come back as the savior once again. And hopefully, everyone out there watching me do this is too stupid to understand what I’m trying to get at.'”
“Let’s be honest, it wasn’t 6 to 8 weeks that Bob Iger left that he deliberately went on Twitter and started the sabotage process with his tweet regarding Florida’s House Bill 1557, The Parental Rights in Education bill, after knowing that Bob Chapek was trying to steer Disney out of the political realm. Bob Iger was going to damn well make sure that Disney got dragged back in and all of his little goons that he left behind at The Walt Disney Company were going to drag Chapek down in the mud and make sure that they screwed his pooch,” he concluded.
What do you make of Valliant Renegade’s call to have fundamental leadership change at The Walt Disney Company?