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After Bob Iger announced his return to the Disney C-suite last year, investors did not get the results they expected, and the setbacks he faced have left the 72-year-old executive “overwhelmed and exhausted”, Even privately questioned why he was doing it came back, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
Disney’s stock is now down more than 9% since Iger took over the CEO post from Bob Chapek in November, and activist investor Nelson Peltz is once again pushing for a seat on the company’s board.
But the challenges at the House of Mouse go far beyond the potential for a fresh proxy fight with an irate investor.
According to Bloomberg’s report, when Iger returned the company was “in worse shape than Iger had realized”.
On the streaming side, Disney+ was losing millions of dollars every quarter, and the 2024 deadline for turning a profit — the promise the company had made to Wall Street — was looming, while the cost of making shows was rising. Was. The deal Iger struck in 2016 to acquire streaming technology company BAMTech turned out to be more expensive than expected and the technology was not as efficient as rivals, Bloomberg reported. Iger negotiated for Disney to acquire a 33% stake in Hulu with Comcast, which is worth no less than $27.5 billion, but it is unclear what value taking the stake would provide.
Additionally, Iger faltered with comments that the demands made by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikers this summer were “simply not realistic,” which prompted a massive backlash as actors and writers on the picket line protested against their $27 million annual salaries. Pointed towards salary.
The sum total of the challenges has left the executive joking, “Why did I come back?” The report said, noting that the once tireless CEO spent a lot of time on his yacht in the Mediterranean this summer, then was kept at home after surgery.
The idea comes despite reports that Iger “immediately regretted” stepping down as CEO in 2020 and the headlines that followed and tried to get his job back, which the company disputed .
Iger’s return was heralded by Wall Street and employees around the world, and he had early success in fending off Peltz, who had launched a proxy fight over Disney spending by announcing $3 billion in spending cuts, including eliminating 7,000 jobs. Had started.
Those cuts came with a restructuring plan that created new divisions at the company. But it’s still losing millions on streaming and suffered a string of box-office flops this summer despite a resurgence in theaters led by rival studios’ productions of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”
Furthermore, Bloomberg reported, “Iger seemed unfazed by the state of the TV industry.” With its networks rapidly losing viewers due to the switch to streaming, the report said Iger now has few options other than selling Disney’s TV business, which includes ABC, The Disney Channel, FX and National Geographic Network are included, while ESPN desperately needs one. “Transition from Shrinking Cable Operation to Streaming Service.”
Rumors swirled that Iger was considering selling Disney to Apple, where he sat on the board for nearly a decade, but that discussion had died down by the end of the summer.
Instead, the report says, Iger is trying “incremental improvements,” tinkering with the movie release calendar, raising Disney+ subscription prices, flirting with selling ABC to the public . sports betting deal Associated with ESPN.
He also changed position on the Hollywood strike, saying that Disney’s relationship with creative talent is a top priority.
But as many of his colleagues left Disney, Iger also became “increasingly isolated,” the report said, questioning whether the executive had “lost the magic” he brought during his previous tenure. Was brought into the company during.