Disney Not The Happiest Place On Earth For CEOs: Iger, Chapek Battle Over A Shower

Zinger Key Points
  • A rift between Bob Iger and Bob Chapek at Disney continues to be a storyline for the company.
  • Both CEOs have had controversies and the stock trades at 10-year lows.

Investors were pleased when they heard Bob Iger returned to the CEO role of Walt Disney Co. DIS, a move that saw shares trade higher in November 2022.

A new report detailed the huge rift between Iger and former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, including a fight over who would get an office with a private shower.

What Happened: After serving as the CEO of Disney from 2005 to 2020, Iger stepped down in a move that saw Chapek become the new CEO. Chapek, who was previously the head of the company’s Disney Parks division, was selected to become the new CEO.

Under Iger’s leadership as CEO, Disney investors were rewarded with a strong stock performance and the company's completed acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.

Disney investors saw disappointing returns and several controversies with Chapek at the helm. Iger later returned as the CEO and has since admitted that picking Chapek was a mistake.

Iger moved from the CEO position to the role of executive chairman. When the Disney board of directors suggested Chapek take over his office at Disney headquarters, Iger wasn’t a fan of the idea given he was still staying with the company, according to a CNBC report that interviewed over two dozen people.

The CEO office had one item that kept Iger from wanting to give it away to Chapek. The office contained a private shower that was built for former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Iger could wake up early to work out and then shower there. He was also known to take showers before attending Disney events after work.

Iger reportedly told Chapek that he lived for “two-shower days” and was not going to give up the office. Chapek eventually agreed with Iger’s decision to keep the office given his new executive chairman title and moved to a smaller office on the same floor at Disney headquarters in California.

Two posters hang in Iger’s office that could signal his role as the company’s CEO and the task of guiding the company through a comeback. A framed collage of newspaper and magazine covers dedicated to Disney’s purchase of Marvel for $4 billion is the first poster.

The second poster is a spoofed movie poster of the Clint Eastwood movie “The Eiger Sanction” with Iger’s image instead of Eastwood and the words “The Iger Sanction” instead. The 1975 movie could draw parallels to Iger as it is about an assassin who leaves retirement for one last job.

After Iger later stepped down as chairman, Chapek moved into the larger executive office, but according to reports never used the shower.

Chapek has described his time at Disney harshly with worries that Iger was always ready to come back and take over. Iger said that having people who disagreed in the top roles didn’t work.

The CNBC report highlighted additional conflicts between Iger and Chapek, which included fights over laying off Disney Parks employees, restructuring divisions, compensation for Marvel star Scarlett Johansson and more.

Related Link: Disney Q3 Earnings Highlights: Revenue Miss, EPS Beat, 105.7 Million Core Disney+ Subscribers And More 

Why It’s Important: The report revealed the tense battle between Chapek and Iger that may have led to many shortcomings for the company with disagreements at the top level. With Chapek out of the picture, Iger is in full control of the company. 

Shares of Disney have hit 10-year lows and investors are left with questions of what’s next. Iger hinted at selling off non-core pieces of the business.

Analysts also see the potential of Disney to be acquired by a larger suitor like Apple.

While Chapek had many controversies, including his handling of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida, Iger has been unable to escape public ridicule.

With Disney shares hitting lows and Iger’s comments on the Hollywood strike also getting him in hot water, investors may be ready for a sale of the company or for a new change in leadership once again.

DIS Price Action: Disney shares traded on Friday at $81.36 versus a 52-week trading range of $79.75 to $118.18. Shares of the media giant are down 28% in the last year and have lost 27% over the last five years.

Read Next: Disney Box Office Troubles: Will 2023 Be The First Year Since 2014 To Miss This Major Milestone? 

Photo: Bob Iger, Shutterstock; Bob Chapek, courtesy Disney


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