Former Disney boss Bob Iger reportedly regrets naming current CEO Bob Chapek as his successor.
Calling it one of his “worst business decisions,” Iger believes Chapek’s contract should not have been renewed amid leading the company into several scandals and political controversies.
According to a Business Insider report, Iger began to rethink his decision after stepping down from Disney in 2020, right before the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic hit, realizing the large challenge the company would have to face.
“He greatly regretted it as soon as COVID hit,” a top Disney executive said, adding that Iger said “he was tired of being harangued about [succession] and said, ‘Fine, you guys have someone else run the business.’ ”
Chapek was reportedly supposed to report to both the board and Iger but apparently ended up not liking how the process went, causing the pair to clash over Disney’s response to COVID and each other’s political decisions.
The relationship was so soured that Chapek and Iger formed their own advisory teams that would often compete against each other.
According to a source, Iger found Chapek to be a “novice” in responding to talent management concerns and politics-adjacent disputes, particularly in the company’s fight with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) over his “Parental Rights in Education” law, which led to the company losing major tax breaks to self-governance.
Iger reportedly found Chapek to be “arrogant and uninterested in other people’s opinions,” while Chapek was angry that Iger meddling in affairs Chapek felt were his own to deal with.
“No one expected it to fall apart this fast,” the executive said.