The Walt Disney Co. is hoping that returning CEO Bob Iger will wave his magic wand like Cinderella’s fairy godmother and make everything better following Bob Chapek’s calamitous tenure. But analysts are predicting the task won’t be so easy, saying Iger will need to slash spending and restore profitability in two years’ time — a feat of sorcery that the Disney veteran may not be able to pull off.
Among the divisions where the biggest cuts are likely to fall are Disney’s streaming services, which lost a stunning $1.5 billion last quarter as the company attempts to take on competing streamers like Netflix and HBO Max.
“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should [a]offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:2
On Sunday, Disney abruptly fired CEO Bob Chapek in the wake of disastrous corporate earnings and a plummeting stock price. Under Chapek, Disney’s once-revered brand became severely tarnished by ill-advised culture war gambits, including a political fight with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and a whole-hearted embrace of radical LGBTQ identity politics.
Bob Iger’s job is to now salvage the vessel while also setting a new course. Some analysts have raised concerns about whether Iger’s two-year term will be long enough to achieve those goals, according to a Reuters report.
“The problem is Iger can’t last forever. He already stopped the transitions of Tom Staggs in 2016 and now (Bob) Chapek,” Rosenblatt Securities reportedly said.
Analysts at MoffettNathanson said Disney+ isn’t the only corporate property that should be targeted for deep cuts. They said ESPN should undergo a review of all sports rights to come as the network continues to lose cable subscribers.
Politically, Iger is even more leftist than Chapek. The 71-year-old Disney veteran was an open critic of former President Donald Trump, and even entertained the idea of challenging Trump for the White House — a plan he later abandoned.
Iger recently told CNN that corporate leaders have a moral obligation to take stands on political and social issues, including the environment, LGBTQ, and immigration.
“A lot of these issues are not necessarily political. It’s about right and wrong,” Iger said.