Business Insider Report Says Bob Iger Regrets Selecting Bob Chapek as His Successor

According to a new report from Insider, tensions between Disney CEO Bob Iger and current CEO Bob Chapek grew in Iger’s final months with the company. In turn, Iger is said to be regretting his decision to name Chapek as his successor.

What’s Happening:

  • When Bob Iger stepped down as Disney CEO, he planned to mentor successor Bob Chapek through a two-year handoff, but according to Insider sources, the handoff didn’t go as Iger planned.
  • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic changed quite a lot of the company’s plans, including Iger’s succession.
  • Iger was still engaged and simply felt that with Disney+ successfully launched in 2019, the company was in good shape for a handoff.
  • "It was Bob Iger's desire to move the timeline up — and if COVID hadn't happened, none of the stuff between [him and Bob Chapek] would have transpired," said one Disney executive, referring to the friction that developed between the two men ahead of Iger's final exit. "The board was surprised; it was several months before his departure date."
  • However, another source said, "If he had known and understood the scope of the pandemic, he never would have stepped down when he did," said a second former Disney executive.
  • According to the report, Iger began to disagree with many of Chapek's moves and had lobbied the board to re-enforce his authority as executive chairman while he was still with the company.
  • Iger's public assertion of power reportedly came as "a slap in the face" to Chapek.
  • Iger has indicated, privately and in one case on Twitter, his disagreement with his successor's choices since leaving in December.
  • As a result, Iger has apparently stated his selection of Chapek as his successor was a mistake, calling it one of his worst business decisions.
  • This isn’t the first time reports of tensions between the Bobs have surfaced. In March, a CNBC article highlighted an apparent falling out between the two leaders.
  • Last week both men were spotted at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley mogul retreat. The two exchanged a cordial greeting but that was it, according to a person who was there.
  • The Disney Board of Directors recently extended Bob Chapek’s contract for three more years following a unanimous vote.