On the back of Disney‘s current management shift, Bob Chapek’s exit from the company may have been driven by a multitude of factors, including a lack of trust from the company’s CFO over how Disney Plus’ performance was measured.
Since Bob Iger’s exit from the company in early 2020, Chapek had been picked to sort out Disney‘s fortunes on the very year Disney Plus made its debut, albeit with it being fully known to the board & investors that the streaming service won’t be profitable until 2024, at the very least. Nevertheless, Chapek ended up stepping down as Disney CEO last week despite being given a new contract until 2024, & it looks like a Rotten reputation among top managers & board members may be what ultimately cost the man his job.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, dissent had been brewing at Disney for months. Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy is believed to be among the voices who didn’t back Chapek, & expenses from unprofitable Disney Plus content are at the crux of it. One of the strategies used by the company to make those Disney Plus numbers look better was premiering certain content, such as The Mysterious Benedict Society, on the Disney Channel before moving it onto Disney Plus so that any losses would be compounded into the streaming platform’s margins.
Under Chapek, Disney’s total budget for new content went up to roughly $30 billion in 2022, regardless of the company’s productions no longer being as profitable as they used to be. Along with Chapek, other Enormous names leaving the company include Kareem Daniel, who partly oversaw decisions on what content was released in theaters or on streaming. These were highly-contested topics, according to insiders, especially after the Black Widow lawsuit involving Scarlett Johansson & recent decisions regarding Pixar movies.
Disney’s new film Strange World is expected to become the latest of these failures, as the animated film is projected to produce losses of over $100M, a rare event for the studio. On the other h&, Pixar hits like Turning Red were limited to streaming, while weaker movies like Lightyear got exposed to full theatrical runs that have left the world’s top animation studio showing lacklustre results for two years in a row.
Overall, Chapek is reported to have become a very unpopular figure both among creative & management figures at Disney, which, on top of poor financial results, makes Iger’s return very predictable. Iger made Disney dominate the entertainment industry thanks to his acquisitions & wise use of Marvel, Star Wars, & Fox’s 20th Century Studios.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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