Bob Chapek Faces Challenging First Few Weeks as CEO of Disney
It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for new CEO Bob Chapek with Disney shutting the gates of all of theme parks worldwide as well as sailings with Disney Cruise Line and the company’s three Broadway musicals.
In an abrupt move that surprised a lot of Disney insiders – Bog Iger decided on February 25th to hand over the reins as CEO of the company to the head of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products (Chapek) effective immediately. Iger initially was not expected to stand down until the end of 2021 when his contract expired.
Now with Coronavirus officially reaching pandemic status according to the WHO, the stock market has taken a dramatic turn with obvious implications for businesses like Disney. With the news last night that all of Disney’s properties will be closed until the virus is under control, the company will lose millions.
The only silver lining in all of this is that Disney+ continues to due increasingly well and may even show an increase in profits/subscribers as families opt to stay home.
A piece published on CNBC, suggests that Chapek’s experience in the parks could make him well-suited to handle the logistical challenges the Walt Disney Company will face in the weeks ahead while Iger, who has not jumped ship entirely, will continue to focus on the companies creative endeavours.
The Coronavirus has been a looming threat to Disney for a while now. On the day that Chapek took over the Disney helm, he spoke to a CNBC about the impact the virus could have on the theme parks, finances etc.
“We’re always very conscious of disruptive elements, socioeconomic, social elements that could come in at any time and disrupt our business,” Chapek said. “But I think when you have the core assets that we’ve got, those franchises, the Disney brand, once again, we’ll sort of see our way through all those disruptive elements. Doesn’t mean that we won’t get surprised tomorrow, but we’ve got the strength to get through them all.”
However, the task at hand remains a daunting one. As CNBC points out, as of yesterday shares of Disney were down 13%. This leaves the company with the need to reassure investors of the companies long-term strategies. Before Iger left his post in February Disney stocks closed around $128.19 per share. As of Thursday stock is now valued at $91.81 per share. This is a drop of 28%