As controversy continues to surround The Walt Disney Company, its current leadership is standing on increasingly shaky ground.
While The Walt Disney Company has dealt with its fair share of trials, tribulations, and controversies, the firestorm surrounding it right now regarding Florida’s new bill has reached an unprecedented level, with the current CEO’s position possibly hanging in the balance.
As Disney continues to make efforts to further support the LGBTQ+ community after hurting so many in that same community just weeks ago, leadership at the company is in question or at the very least, being criticized. While the Disney Park community has been skeptical of Bob Chapek since the get-go, with new additions like Genie+ not helping, his takeover couldn’t have come at a worse time. Taking the reigns from former CEO Bob Iger in early 2020, folks could’ve settled and given Chapek the benefit of the doubt, after all, running one of the largest corporations in the entire world with a pandemic breaking out is no easy task. But recently, the shadows and legacy of previous CEOs are further looming over Chapek, with the current CEO’s future being brought into question.
For almost four decades, only two CEOs served The Walt Disney Company, being Michael Eisner from 1984 to 2005 and Bob Iger from 2005 to 2020. Now with two years on the job under his belt, Bob Chapek is facing a crisis that has the potential to rival or even topple the issues Eisner faced throughout the 80s and ’90s at the company. After fierce opposition to Chapek’s handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, nearly every facet of the company came out in firm opposition to the bill, making Chapek’s original memo look lackluster, to say the least.
Hundreds of employees also expressed how they felt about Chapek’s stance on the bill, hosting a company-wide walkout. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, insiders are speculating about his longevity in the job and who could succeed him (entertainment chief Peter Rice and ex-CFO Tom Staggs would seem to be favorites). The current CEO’s contract is up in 11 months and to put it bluntly, Chapek is not in the best position to be negotiating an extension.
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