Despite the company’s 2022 getting off to a disastrous start thanks to his leadership, Disney’s board of directors has voted unanimously to extend current CEO Bob Chapek’s contract by an additional three years.
Disney’s board of directors confirmed the results of their vote on June 28th, throwing their full support behind Chapek regardless of the fact that his actions having left the House of Mouse with a damaged public reputation and billions of dollars in devaluation
Susan Arnold, chairman of Disney’s board attempted to pre-emptively put all naysayers of this move in check by giving her full support, issuing a statement following the vote declaring, “Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses — from parks to streaming — not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength.”
“In this important time of business growth and transformation, we are committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob and his leadership team have the support and confidence of the board,” she said. “The strength of The Walt Disney Company’s businesses coming out of the pandemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future.”
While insiders and executives behind the scenes credit Chapek with the success of the Disney+ streaming service , which currently holds over 137 million subscribers worldwide and has nettered the corporation an additional $8 billion dollars a year in revenue, others have been left unsure of his abilities in the wake of him having led the company into numerous controversies this year.
The first of these came in March when Chapek initially decided not to take a side in the war with Republican Governor of Florida Rob DeSantis over the Parental Rights in Education bill, which prohibits the teaching of sexuality and transgenderism to children between kindergarten and third grade.
However, once the LGBTQ lobby within Disney revolted against Chapek’s decision to stay quiet, he declared that he was fully on board with the LGBTQ+ agenda, even promising to be an outspoken champion for their causes.
“To my fellow colleagues, but especially our LGBTQ+ community, Thank you to all who have reached out to me sharing your pain, frustration, and sadness over the company’s response to the Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay bill,’ he wrote in a company-wide email. “Speaking to you, reading your messages, and meeting with you have helped me better understand how painful our silence was.”
“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human right,” he added. “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.”
Unfortunately for Chapek, in response to his doubling down against Governor DeSantis, The Florida Senate passed legislation ending the tax and governing exemptions afforded to the company-owned Reedy Creek Improvement District, upon which the Walt Disney World Resort sits.
Of course, the hits didn’t stop there.
Since then, the company has been under continuous fire over their self-declared “not-so-secret gay agenda”, which as revealed by journalists including Christopher F. Rufo, includes producing more LGBTQ content aimed specifically at children and donating to organizations who promote LGBTQ curriculums in elementary schools.
Earlier this month, Chapek fired Peter Rice, the chairman of The Walt Disney Company’s TV content division, in a move that caused a “cultural conflict” with the current direction of Disney.
A Disney insider was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter as saying that this move by Chapek was a massive mistake. “It’s not good for the company,” said the Disney insider. “Morale is terrible.”
Another Disney executive stated that there is major backlash about how Chapek announced his decision, doing so bluntly and publicly, espcially as many believed Rice to be next in line for the position of CEO should the mounting controversies prove too much for the current CEO to weather.
“At Disney, at that level, you don’t treat an executive that way,” the executive asserted. “You give him a production deal, you give him a cover story, you give him a party, you walk them out the door. If you have to execute someone, there are ways to do it. It’s the lack of touch. It’s like this guy doesn’t know how things are done in our town.”
As of writing, Disney’s stock price is down to $95.65, down 38% over the last six months and down 45% since this time last year.
Disney is looking at Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder to help recoup some of these losses by pulling in some major box-office revenue numbers, especially given how after nearly two weeks in theaters, the massive bomb that is Lightyear has yet to even recoup its $200 Million production budget,
What do you make of Chapek receiving a three-year extension to his Disney contract? Let us know your thoughts on social media and in the comments down below!