Disney Insider Reveals Surprising Details About Bob Iger’s Successor!

Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse smile at each other
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company has been around for a century, and for more than twenty years, Bob Iger has been at the helm of that giant ship. For nearly the same amount of time, he was the head of ABC Entertainment, and when Disney purchased ABC in 1996, it was clear that Iger was a born leader.

In 1999, Disney named Mr. Iger the head of Walt Disney International and the Chairman of the ABC Group. Iger was so good at his job that, just one year later, he was named COO of Disney, the second in command under then-CEO Michael Eisner. Just five years later, Eisner stepped down, and Iger took the reins.

Disney Bob Iger commits 100million to improving patient experience

Credit: Disney

Related: Bob Iger Admits Disney STILL Paying Price for Past Mistakes

Under Bob Iger’s leadership, Disney absolutely exploded. The studio made some major moves, purchasing Pixar Animation Studio, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox. He was also the leading force behind the opening of the Shanghai Disneyland Resort in 2016. Of course, there were some bumps along the way, but Iger managed to take everything in stride and remained relatively popular among Disney fans and cast members.

bob iger with group of cast members at disney world

Credit: Disney Parks

In 2020, Mr. Iger stepped down as CEO of Disney but retained the title of Executive Chairman, and the President of Disney Parks, Bob Chapek, took over. Things went downhill, and they went downhill fast. Mr. Chapek was never popular with Disney fans and became known as the CEO who cut costs, cut quality, and raised prices.

Bob Chapek was fired in November 2022, after less than three years as CEO, and Bob Iger stepped back in to try to set the company on the right path. However, things have not been easy for him, and he is no longer the beloved CEO he once was. Iger is constantly dealing with criticism from fans and cast members.

Bob Iger in a suit stands on a neatly manicured lawn in front of a historical building. He is holding an open box displaying a medal or award. A guard in red uniform stands near the entrance of the building in the background.

Credit: @deanwillowbay on Instagram

In addition to dealing with frustrated Disney fans, Iger recently had his authority within the company threatened by self-proclaimed “bully” billionaire Nelson Peltz. Peltz was an activist investor in Disney and attempted to gain a seat on the Board of Directors, along with one of his allies, former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo. He said that Iger had been given the chance to “right the ship”, but had failed.

Iger did not take the threat from Peltz lying down, and neither did Disney’s board. They received the backing of other major shareholders, and even the family of Walt Disney. In the end, shareholders voted to keep Iger on the board and show Nelson Peltz the door. Peltz ultimately sold his shares in Disney after his embarrassing defeat.

Nelson Peltz admits being a bully

Credit: Screenshot CNBC Interview

When he first returned as CEO, Iger was only set to stay through 2024, but that was quickly extended through December 2026. That would give him plenty of time to pick a successor and work with them for a seamless transition when the time comes. Reports indicated that Iger hastily picked Chapek to follow him, something he calls one of his “worst business decisions.”

While there has been speculation about who Iger will choose as the next CEO, many weren’t expecting any kind of announcement until his time with Disney was nearly complete.

Bob Iger Defends Bob Chapek

Credit: Screenshot CNBC Interview

However, according to one Disney insider, Iger might be considering speeding up the process and announcing his successor THIS YEAR.

According to Iger’s close adviser, Kevin Mayer, Mr. Iger is determined to find someone he believes can lead Disney in the right direction. And he wants to find them soon. Mayer spoke to Yahoo Finance and said:

“I think we may know this year, but [Bob Iger] has two and a half more years. So it wouldn’t surprise me if it is extended a little bit beyond this calendar year into next calendar year.

“In the not-too-distant future, he’s going to make it known who a successor is so he has some time to spend with him or her at the helm.”

Bob Iger salary revealed walt disney company department of justice

Credit: Disney

Related: Bob Iger Admits to Major Disney+ Screw Up

Speculation about Disney’s next CEO has been running wild, but there are four names that seem to be at the top of the list — Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Josh D’Amaro, and Jimmy Pitaro.

Dana Walden, who is largely considered the front-runner, currently serves as the Co-Chairman of Disney Entertainment, alongside Alan Bergman. Josh D’Amaro is the current President of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, which was the position Bob Chapek held before he became CEO. Jimmy Pitaro is the Chairman of ESPN, which is owned by Disney.

Josh D'Amaro

Credit: Disney

Of course, it is possible that Iger and the Board of Directors could choose to go with someone outside The Walt Disney Company.

Who do you think should be Disney’s next CEO? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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