Waiting For A Better Prom Date? Disney's Board Finally Says Yes To Bob Chapek
Extending the CEO’s reign was really the only thing Disney’s board could do to silence critics, but it doesn’t erase the shaky record
The Walt Disney Co.’s board of directors finally snapped out of its near-catatonic corporate state this week by extending Bob Chapek’s term as CEO, a definitive move that expressed confidence both to the smart money on Wall Street and tourists ambling up Main Street, U.S.A.
By extending Chapek’s contract for three years, the 11-member board put to rest speculation that Bob Iger would return to save the day, among other names bandied about as a possible replacement. And, at least for now, the move silences some of the well-documented whispers and complaints of missteps that have plagued Chapek since taking the job in February 2020.
“Bob Chapek inherited a nightmare with this pandemic, and he has managed their big core businesses effectively through a very challenging time. It’s only fair play to give him a chance to run the company under normal circumstances,” said Tom Nunan, former president of NBC Studios and UPN who’s now a continuing lecturer at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
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“They have given him large leeway with these PR fiascos when judged alongside how he kept the trains running… managing shutdowns, managing no box office, no parks, no hotels, no cruises,” he said. “Hollywood loves a comeback, a redemption story.”
But Chapek may have only a short window to prove himself, if not to solve every single problem facing the company than to at least give the appearance that he’s on top of the situation. But the long-term damage to Disney’s credibility may already have been done.