Bob Iger to stay on as Disney CEO until 2026

Bob Iger
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The rumours appear to have been confirmed as Bob Iger’s second spell as Disney chief will now run two years beyond the original plan. 

Bob Iger returned to the role of Disney CEO late last year in surprise move that threatened to challenge his impressive legacy. Following the perceived failures of his hand-picked successor Bob Chapek, Disney was finding itself in increasingly choppy waters and so Iger returned with a stated two-year vision to right the House of Mouse, name a new successor and sail off once again into the sunset.

Things have not gone to plan, however. Iger’s second spell as CEO has been a pretty torrid time for Disney. As expected, Iger has had to engage in some pretty savage cost-cutting to tackle the company’s most pressing problems, although in fairness so has much of the entertainment industry. However, the current issue facing Iger is that he doesn’t yet seem to have figured out answers to any of Disney’s longer-term problems, despite having been back in the hot seat for eight months.

On the film side of things, there are significant problems with several Disney studios including Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel. The recent disappointing box office returns of Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny and Elemental clearly illustrate the struggles faced by studios that could previously be relied upon to spawn hit after hit. Likewise, Marvel is in a rockier period than we’ve seen throughout its 15 year history and all eyes are looking at that November release date for The Marvels to see whether the studio can continue the successful rehabilitation spurred by the positive commercial and critical reaction to Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. To some extent, this is part of a wider issue that exists beyond Disney as other studios are struggling with blockbuster releases but it’s still an issue that Iger has to solve.

Of course, there’s also the continuing issue of whether Disney+ can become the profitable entity that Iger needs it to be, especially since the streaming platform was a key element of his first spell in charge. It had become increasingly clear over the last couple of months that none of these problems would be solved by the time Iger’s planned two year return was up, not to mention that the film division needs to be in a far more stable position before he hands it off to a less experienced successor.

As such, Iger’s contract has now been extended until 2026, against the backdrop of threatened industrial action that could cripple Hollywood. There’s no shortage of quandaries for Iger to deal with but the Disney CEO has more time to do so now, before he departs.

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