Bob Iger had barely put away his CEO desk plate when the pandemic hit the U.S. and devastated entertainment, tourism, and just about everything else under the sun. As Disney attempts to navigate its many properties through the crisis, Iger is stepping up to lead once again in hopes that his 15 years of experience will be enough to pull the conglomerate through this tumultuous time.
Iger, who stepped down as CEO on February 25, told The New York Times that he intends to help successor Bob Chapek contend with the current fallout. While the report doesn’t detail how Iger was lulled back into the fold or how current leadership fits into his return, Iger is already discussing big picture changes for the future, such as producing less pilots that don’t have clear futures and not engaging with costly advertising upfronts. As far as the current closures of the parks: There is still no certainty as to when they will reopen to the public, but they are currently considering new guest policies—like requiring temperatures to be taken prior to entry—in order to protect the public from infection. Though there was mention of a potential reduction in staffing and office space, Iger was careful to distance himself from those specific decisions, stating that such choices would remain in Chapek’s purview.
One thing we can look forward to, per Iger, is seeing more new releases heading straight to Disney+ along the same vein as the forthcoming Artemis Fowl and Onward, which began streaming after a shortened theatrical run. Just don’t look for the big titles like Black Widow, which has already been rescheduled for a November theatrical release.