Instead of Going Away, Woke Bob Iger Will Stay Longer at Disney

The formerly “retired” CEO who just won’t go away, whose attitude and backstabbing leave some observers with the impression that he thinks he is irreplaceable, just extended his contract an additional two years, until December 2026.

That would be Robert Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, whose return late last year was supposed to start the restoration of the entertainment giant’s formerly beloved reputation but instead has further tanked it.

Iger says Disney’s board of directors — which after a disastrous 2022 sought no refreshment amongst its incumbents at this year’s annual meeting — asked him to stick around longer. Talk about a club of elitists. Supposedly the team is having a hard time finding a successor to Iger.

Before Iger’s return to replace short-timer Bob Chapek, it was broadly reported the Disney’s biggest headaches were its more-numerous-than-usual film flops and its challenges in making television streaming profitable. The only bright spot was post-COVID theme park attendance, but now that is showing signs of weakening also — not the kind of turnaround that market analysts were looking for with Iger’s return.

As usual, the downturn in all of Disney’s lines of business are not attributed by corporate media to the obvious: that many American families are rejecting the child-grooming content the company has infused in its video content and theme parks. Instead the trends are blamed on partly true issues of “cord-cutting” from linear television subscriptions and costly admission to its tourist offerings in the midst of inflationary pressures on consumers.

The denialism of the obvious impact of “woke” upon Disney’s business only serves to delay the much-needed changes to be made in leadership, both on the board and in the top executive levels. After a short-term bump following Iger’s return in November, the company’s stock price has returned to the underperforming level that was blamed on Chapek. The Wall Street Journal reports that Iger is coming off as aloof during the current go-round:

Others have criticized the boss for overestimating how quickly he could transform Disney. And some said he has been tone deaf in how he has embraced the spotlight as CEO while presiding over thousands of staff cuts.


As layoffs kicked off this spring, he was photographed sitting courtside at NBA games. In May, Iger appeared at the Met Gala in New York wearing Donald Duck sneakers designed by the late couturier Karl Lagerfeld, which Disney’s consumer-products division had asked him to wear. He described the occasion to a red-carpet reporter as “a great excuse to get dressed up.”


A Disney spokesperson said Iger is a longtime season-ticket holder to both the Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks and enjoyed attending NBA games even when he wasn’t CEO, and that he was invited to the Met Gala before coming back to Disney.


Since returning to the CEO’s office in Burbank, Iger has shown visitors a model of one of his yachts and enthused about the new superyacht he is building. The boat is expected to be 30 feet longer than Iger’s first superyacht, the 180-foot Aquarius, and built by the same Dutch custom shipbuilder Royal Huisman. Superyachts of that size and level of luxury can cost tens of millions of dollars, according to yachting experts and published sales listings.

Doesn’t sound like the corporate turnaround is coming any time soon.




Tags: Disney, Robert Iger, woke corporations