Being Bob. The Other Bob.
Robert Chapek --not Iger or Baskin -- may be catching a break.
Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Chapek might finally be catching a break going into Wednesday’s third-quarter earnings report after a year of massive miscalculations and dreadful decisions.
As a refresher, he enraged the LGBTQ community with a botched response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, betraying queer employees and fans. He pissed off “Black Widow” star Scarlett Johansson in an embarrassing public legal battle over releasing the Marvel film. He stunned Hollywood by unceremoniously sacking TV honcho Peter Rice. And don’t even start with Abigail Disney — you know, the granddaughter of the studio’s co-founder with the same last name. She’s none-too-pleased Chapek is getting a $32.5 million paycheck in a year where everything seemed bungled.
Chapek’s damage control needed damage control.
And he might just be handed a golden opportunity to clean the slate when the world’s largest entertainment conglomerate reports earnings in just a matter of hours. Expectations are the numbers will look good, and Wall Street and Hollywood are praying the embattled CEO’s finally found his mojo.
“He has one job on Wednesday and that’s to make investors feel like he actually wants the job, and demonstrates that he’s got his confidence back,” said one money manager who has investments in Disney. “Bob was basically the easiest CEO to dump on, and, for the most part, he deserved it.”
The “Bob” haircut used to be famous. .
Chapek is expected to report strong results driven by a resurgence of theme park attendance (which leans into this strength as its former chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products) and the continued growth of streaming subscribers. And he’ll be able to point out the diversity of Disney’s business mix fortified the company as an uneven economy slammed into rivals like Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery.