Bob Iger’s tallest order at Disney: preparing his own replacement for CEO Bob Iger.
It’s been a rocky few weeks at Disney. The Walt Disney Company (DIS) announced Friday that it had dismissed Chairman and CEO Bob Iger for “inappropriate” workplace behavior, after he took a walk with a female colleague. The company also said it had fired its CEO of technology and innovation John V. Young, who had left a company meeting in mid-February to be with his wife.
The firing of Iger is a major victory for the company’s board but does little to address the culture at the company, a situation that has been brewing for awhile.
In mid-February, Disney CEO John Lasseter stepped down and was replaced by Lasseter’s deputy Bob Chapek. Chapek was hired to be Iger’s chief of staff. Since then, Disney and the outside observers who follow the company have accused Chapek of a culture that was becoming too close to Iger’s personality, according to a person familiar with the matter. One of those insiders told Billboard that the company has been moving toward a “corporate Iger” who was more comfortable engaging with those outside the company, such as shareholders, venture capitalists, and unions.
Now, those internal criticisms are coming out, and people are starting to question whether Iger was indeed ready to take the CEO position.
We spoke with people who have observed Disney CEO Bob Iger throughout his tenure at the company, who spoke to Iger’s personality. Those close to Iger say he was not a boisterous man who didn’t have a lot of respect for his peers. Iger was extremely smart and creative, and he was respected at the company due to his drive and talent.
But Iger also had a temper and did not take well to being disagreed with, which made him confrontational. He was also a man of his word. When he said something, he meant it.
Iger was also a man who had few expectations of others. He was not a perfectionist, and if he didn’t understand things, he would say so. He saw a problem and he wanted to fix