Disney made waves late Sunday, announcing the ouster of CEO Bob Chapek and the return of Bob Iger in the role for two years.
Chapek replaced Iger as Disney CEO when the latter retired, but Disney has faced multiple headwinds impacting its profitability. In the midst of increasing doubt in his leadership, the company decided to go with Iger, calling him out of retirement for a two-year contract.
One of Iger’s main mandates will be to lower cost and improve profitability, both of which have become big issues in recent quarters. Disney+, in particular, has been a big drain on the company’s financial results, accounting for $1.5 billion in losses in the most recent quarter. That was up from $0.8 billion the previous quarter.
Iger’s mandate will also include finding and grooming a suitable replacement for him, one that will carry on once his two-year term is up.
Below is a full copy of Iger’s email to employees, obtained by CNBC.
Dear Fellow Employees and Cast Members,
It is with an incredible sense of gratitude and humility—and, I must admit, a bit of amazement—that I write to you this evening with the news that I am returning to The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer.
When I look at the creative success of our teams across our Studios, Disney General Entertainment, ESPN and International, the rapid growth of our streaming services, the phenomenal reimagining and rebound of our Parks, the continued great work of ABC News, and so many other achievements across our businesses, I am in awe of your accomplishments and I am excited to embark with you on many new endeavors.
I know this company has asked so much of you during the past three years, and these times certainly remain quite challenging, but as you have heard me say before, I am an optimist, and if I learned one thing from my years at Disney, it is that even in the face of uncertainty—perhaps especially in the face of uncertainty—our employees and Cast Members achieve the impossible.
*You will be hearing more from me and your leaders tomorrow and in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, allow me to express my deep gratitude for all that you do. Disney holds a special place in the hearts of people around the globe thanks to you, and your dedication to this company and its mission to bring joy to people through great storytelling is an inspiration to me every single day. *