Bob Iger steps down as Walt Disney chief executive |
Anna Nicolaou, Financial Times (26/02/2020)
(…) The transition marks the end of an era at #Disney. Mr Iger has been widely credited with the company’s success over the past decade and a half, building a powerhouse of franchises through the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and the marquee assets of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
Mr Iger had bet his legacy on a push to counter the forces of Netflix and other technology groups that have upended Hollywood, announcing in 2017 that Disney would create its own streaming platform and extending his tenure as chief executive to steer its introduction.
With Disney+ now launched, and the integration of the blockbuster Fox acquisition under way, Mr Iger said that “the time seemed right”.
Mr Chapek [a Disney veteran who has run the parks business since 2015] will report directly to Mr Iger, who will be executive chairman until his contract expires at the end of next year and will continue to oversee Disney’s creative content. (…)
Disney reported a few weeks ago that Disney+ already had more than 28m subscribers, only three months after launching. However, the company is operating in an expensive “#streaming war” in entertainment, as Disney and peers such as Netflix, Apple and AT&T splash out billions on programming to lure people to their online video services.
Disney also faces headwinds from the #coronavirus pandemic, which has already impacted its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong.