Not everyone follows the stock market or even pays close attention to Disney’s stock price – even if you are a hardcore fan. But it’s still important for the future of the company…and may dictate what Bob Iger does and how long he stays.
Bob Iger’s Return
When Bob Chapek took the reigns from Bob Iger in 2020, he made many decisions that some considered controversial and many decisions that hurt the bottom line of the company. Despite his many missteps and the anti-Chapek movement that exists among many fans, much of what he is blamed for happened under Disney CEO Bob Iger. Bob Iger put many things into motion such as Genie+, theme park price increases, park reservations, and Disney+ decisions before Bob Chapek took over. Bob Iger was also the CEO who greenlit many of the company’s failures and recent flops such as Lightyear (2022) and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).
When Bob Chapek left Disney in 2022, the company was facing many challenges, including the fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and a low stock price. But when Bob Iger’s return was announced, the price of Disney stock quickly shot up.
After months of it sliding back down to a closing of $85.56 (on July 17), the stock is close to its 52 week low ($84.07). Meaning it is hovering at the price that investors and the Disney board felt was too low when Bob Chapek was in office. So now it begs the question – will Bob Iger get pushed out like Bob Chapek did? When Chapek was the head of the company during its major decline in stock, the company executives seemed more than happy to send him packing and bring back Iger. But Bob Iger has now been back for 8 months and Disney stock is not far from it’s 2022 low (and is already at its 2023 low).
It definitely puts pressure on Bob Iger to do SOMETHING different. The Walt Disney Company may be due for a change. Whether that’s massive theme park expansion, new IPs (intellectual properties) for movies, or a new strategy for streaming – its current situation is not sustainable.
The Walt Disney Company does have a huge following and many dedicated fans throughout the United States and the world. But to maintain its level of growth and keep up with expenses, Disney needs more paying customers. The Walt Disney Company must figure out a way to appeal to the casual Disney fans. The ones who may watch a movie here or there or perhaps only go to the parks once or twice in their lifetime. Just as with politicians…Bob Iger must find away to appeal to a mass audience. Otherwise, the company may have to do some serious downsizing, including more layoffs and more cancelled projects (i.e. Lake Nona, Galactic Starcruiser).
Hopefully Bob Iger can figure something out – if not – someone else will need to. The more time that passes and the more the stock falls, the harder it will be to dig the company, the brand, and the stock out of that hole.