Reinstated Disney CEO Bob Iger Sends Heartfelt Message to Cast Members

After less than a year of retirement, former CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger has been reinstated by the Board of Directors, replacing Bob Chapek.


Credit: Collider

RELATED: Bob Iger to Return as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company released an official notice that Bob Chapek had stepped down as CEO, and Bob Iger is returning to his former position effective immediately on Sunday, November 20, 2022. Iger, who originally left the position in the hands of Bob Chapek at the beginning of 2020, only retired at the end of last year.

In the time since Iger had left the position, Chapek’s period as CEO has been steeped in controversy, with mishaps with political support (and lack thereof) leading to a feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, not to mention several cost-cutting measures in Disney theme parks lending to mixed reviews at best by fans, and the earlier fiasco regarding Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson.


(Iger -left, Chapek – right) Credit: Disney

RELATED: Disney CEO Bob Chapek Announces Company-wide Hiring Freeze and Layoffs

Bob Iger was CEO of the Walt Disney Company for 15 years, during which time Disney acquired Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox, launched Disney+, and opened several new theme park lands at Walt Disney World including Pandora – World of Avatar, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and even an entire new Resort with Shanghai Disneyland in 2016.

As Iger prepares to go back to work at his former executive position, the returning CEO sent the following message to Disney Cast Members via email:

Dear Fellow Employees and Cast Members,

It is with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of amazement—that I write to you this evening with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer.

When I look at the creative success of our teams across our Studios, Disney General Entertainment, ESPN and International, the rapid growth of our streaming services, the phenomenal reimagining and rebound of our Parks, the continued great work of ABC News, and so many other achievements across our businesses, I am in awe of your accomplishments and I am excited to embark with you on many new endeavors.

I know this company has asked so much of you during the past three years, and these times certainly remain quite challenging, but as you have heard me say before, I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty—perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty—our employees and Cast Members achieve the impossible.

You will be hearing more from me and your leaders tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, allow me to express my deep gratitude for all that you do. Disney holds a special place in the hearts of people around the globe thanks to you, and your dedication to this company and its mission to bring joy to people through great storytelling is an inspiration to me every single day.

Bob Iger

Bob Iger

Credit: Disney

RELATED: Bob Chapek Continues to Defend Park Reservations & Limits on Annual Passes

So far, the fan reaction to Iger’s return as CEO is overwhelmingly positive. Disney has not announced any additional leadership changes at this time, and we’ve shared information already released regarding Iger’s return in this article.

We are continuing to monitor the change in leadership at the Walt Disney Company, and will report back with additional information as we have it here on Disney Tips.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."