Disney Doubles Down

I wish I could have seen the Dark Herald’s face when he learned that Disney is bringing Bob Iger back as CEO:

Former Disney boss Bob Iger, who headed the entertainment giant for 15 years, is returning to lead the firm. He replaces Bob Chapek, who took over as chief executive in February 2020. Disney shares have fallen by more than 40% this year and the company has poured billions of dollars into its loss-making streaming service Disney+.

Mr Iger’s decision to step down in 2020 came as a surprise, after he had driven several major takeovers and launched Disney’s streaming network.

Susan Arnold, who heads the company’s board, said in a statement that Mr Iger was “uniquely situated” to take Disney through “an increasingly complex period of industry transformation.”

Mr Iger has agreed to hold the post for two years in which time he aims to find a successor to lead the company.

“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” Mr Iger said.

During his decade and a half as chief executive Disney bought animation studio Pixar, comic book company Marvel, the home of Star Wars LucasFilm and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.These deals, along with the launch of the Disney+ streaming platform and amusement park openings helped the company’s market value increase five-fold during his time in charge…

Disney now has more than 235 million subscriptions across its three streaming platforms, which also include the sports-focused ESPN+ and wider entertainment site Hulu. Netflix, by comparison, has about 223 million subscribers. Mr Chapek also faced pressure over his response to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Here is my prediction. Iger will not only double down on Disney’s convergence, he will also attempt to buy Netflix. Growth through leveraged buyout is the only thing he knows, and the seeds of future failure are always planted in the flowering of success.