LOS ANGELES – Robert Eger II who resigned as Disney’s chief executive on Tuesday – soon after almost two years of anticipation – turned into a Hollywood frenzy.
“Leave the King’s throne!” A prominent film producer texted a reporter. “Surprised and amazed,” said a senior executive at a rival studio in an email. Another asked, “Do we think that Iger can be a candidate for president at all?”
And then comes the second question: Who is Tapaq?
Bob Chapek, who immediately replaced Mr. Iger with immediate effect, is well-known inside the Walt Disney Company, where he has quietly worked for 2 years, mostly in flawless businesses such as consumer goods and film distribution. He recently operated the Disney Department which includes theme parks and cruise ships.
However, this is not Mr. Tepek, the executive greater than life. He is actually unknown to the big men in Hollywood.
Friends say Mr Chepke, 60, will skip the premiere of a red carpet for a quiet night at home. He lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles, founding fashionable Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, where most of the power players are from. He and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 38 years for 2018 at Walt Disney World, Florida, to media events such as the inauguration of Toy Story Land by Mr. Chappack Sadak. (In that case it’s a lightning lightning stage Equipped with). But he is happy not to be the center of attention.
Inside Disney, Mr. Chapek, known as “Bob C”, has almost no experience in television, which is a $ 25 million annual business for Disney and where Mr. Iger – cool and charismatic – made his name in 2005 before taking over as chief executive. .
But the point that Mr. Chepke compared with Mr. Iger may be absent.
No one can reasonably be expected to fill Mr. Eiser’s shoes, not just his single personality, as the company has changed so much during his tenure. When Mr. Iger took over as chief executive, Disney had two movie studios. Now it has eight, including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Blue Sky and Searchlight. In 2005, the company had two cruise ships. Annual theme park attendance increased from approximately 115 million to 159 million to Disney’s two major new streaming services, Hulu and Disney Plus, both are producing original programming to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and the upcoming HBO Max.
All spread, even Mr. Iger could not run the way Disney did. In the past, people have been involved in more creative decisions than they realize. He personally came forward with “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel”. He tasted all the dishes planned for Shanghai Disneyland, responded to the ride-operator costume, and personally chose the place to place a statue of Walt Disney.
Mr Iger told analysts on Tuesday, “At the end of 2121 thinking about what I want to achieve before I leave the company, fixing everything creatively will be my number one priority.” “If I was running this company on a daily basis, I couldn’t do it.”
And despite his low profile in the wider entertainment industry, Mr. Tapak is not a surprise choice. Mr Iger indicated that Mr Chappack was the leading candidate for his memoir, “The Ride of the Lifetime,” which was published in September. At one point, Mr. Iger spoke of a moment in 2016 when Mr. Chepke approached multiple challenges at once – with the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort Secret security threats Deals with a toddler (alligator attack) at Disney World in Florida and at a Disney World lake.
“The bond that you create at such high-stress moments is reinforced when you share information that you cannot discuss with anyone else,” Mr Chagek wrote.
Mr Tapek also has a training wheel. For the next 22 months, he will be Mr. Iger, who holds the title of Executive Chairman and will report to the Disney Board. Mr. Iger will serve as Chief Creative Officer. “My intention is to really spend time with all of our creative endeavors, either on ESPN or Fox Studios or on our media networks,” Mr. Iger told analysts.
Insiders at Disney described Mr. Chepek as a jerk, praising his work ethic and the way he rose from the humble roots of blue-collar Hammond, Ind., To set clear goals and enable lieutenants to achieve that.
He would not allow the holy cow to stand in his way, said numerous Disney executives.
For example, at the Disneyland resort in Anaheim, Mr. Chappeque pushes through a free-fruit ride, named after the Tower of Terrace, a Hollywood-themed hotel in Hollywood, the attraction of guests. But Mr Tapek and his team – in the face of criticism from conventionalists inside and outside the agency – made it a mission to supercharge Disney Parks by linking more film franchises. So they’ve remade the Tower of Terror as the outpost of the blockbuster Marvel film series “Galaxy of Galaxy.” The revamped ride is now one of Disney’s most popular theme-park portfolios.
During Mr. Chappack’s rule, the theme park department used to expand, attract new fees (like charging for some Disney World Hotel parking) and high ticket prices (an increase of more than 9 percent per year for daily access). The department generated $ 6.8 billion in operating profit last year – 46 percent of Disney’s total revenue.
“He is classy and at the same time, he can wear a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt and be a blue collar like the next guy,” said Pau president Gill Champion! Entertainment, which counts comics legend Stan Lee as co-founder. “She lives and breathes the Disney lifestyle.”
The announcement allowed Mr. Iger to wear Mr. Chappack’s crown at Disney’s annual meeting on March 7. It was also seen by Mr Iger as a step by step jockey for any potentially misleading executive inside the company.
The suddenness of the announcement, however, led to widespread speculation about a cause. Some have mentioned that Disney is going to have a tough financial year. The company is proud of its 2020 film Slate Less Surefire blockbuster; For example, there will be no “Star Wars” movie this year. The cord cut seems to have accelerated, further stressing ESPN.
And Coronavirus has already closed Shanghai Disney Resorts and Hong Kong Disneyland and threatened other resorts and Disney cruise lines. Mr Chappack told CNBC on Tuesday that the coronavirus was “a pothole on the road” but said the company was ready. He said, “We came through all the challenges we had.”
Mr. Chappack will be the public face of the company, but he is well known by the CEOs of the main retail chain, whom he learned while serving as Disney’s DVD head in the sixties and operating Disney’s customer product division for 25 years. In the twenty-first
“We saw the Walmart store together more than 20 years ago,” Walmart chief executive Doug Macmillan said in an email on Wednesday. “He’s always been someone who’s interested in learning what Walmart customers are looking for and comes up to us with big and creative ideas.”
He added, “It is really important to trust your partners in this area, and Bob has always been someone we can trust to deliver what he says.”
By email, Target’s chief executive Brian Cornell called Mr. Chepke a “savvy operator” with “a deep understanding of what Disney fans really like about their brand.”
And it is useful to remember that Mr. Iger was not seen as a transformational leader when he got a job. Many worry, in fact, that he does not have the necessary creative chops.
“We and many others have never expected Iger to become CEO. He ended the position,” Richard Greenfield, founder of Lightshed Partners Research, wrote in a client note. “Given how wrong we were about Iger at 21, it is unrealistic to prejudice the prospect of Chepek’s success, and the reality is that the CEO. Work that checks all the aforementioned boxes. “
Nicole Sparling contributed reporting.