I’M B-A-A-A-A-C-KThe Dark Herald
Midnight coup by Disney’s Board of Directors.
Bob Chapek, is out. Dragged from his bed in the middle of the night and stood against a wall.
Bob Iger is back in as CEO for the next two(?) years. That is a weirdly abbreviated contract.
Susan Arnold is remaining as Chairman of the BOD. Iger had both jobs until he was hit by a boardroom revolt in February of 2020.
The institutional investors all knew that the next two or three quarters would be losses. That was baked in. It was why Chapek’s contract was renewed early rather than waiting for February of 23, and it was a unanimous decision by the board.
There wasn’t even a hint that this was going on. Chapek didn’t have a clue, apparently, he got an email at an Elton John concert.
Something big changed behind the scenes. Either the institutional investors lost their shit when the stock price dipped below $100 and stayed there, (possible). OR the institutional investors noticed someone was buying up big chunks of Disney stock and was paying above market price to do it. The last time Disney’s price was this low was in 2020, Apple was shelling out stupid money to buy up lots of small investors’ stock, (by small, I mean the guys who only invest a million dollars or two). Don’t take this as gospel. I’m guessing here and so is everyone else.
Keep checking back here. I’ll be posting more as this develops.
Chapek had been planning some big cuts to Disney in response to the economy and downturns in every department. (By the way ALL of these downturns were the results of decisions that Bob Iger had made.)
Chapek had called in the head of Disney’s legal counsel to oversee these cuts and that meant that he was targeting some very senior people within the company. Chapek had to have run this past the board. When he announced his hiring freeze he had to think he had the full support of the Board of Directors and Susan Arnold who is the woman who bumped him up in the first place.
Yet the board had to be negotiating frantically with Iger for his return while this was going on. The thing is, no one knows better than the BOD that Iger is the guy who put this ship on the rocks in the first place.
Make no mistake, the way this was done was meant to humiliate Bob Chapek.
The way this was handled in the middle of the night reeks of political pressure.
Disney is the biggest influencer on the planet, bar none.
This is the company that teaches children songs across the world. Every kid watches their movies and TV shows. The Left has been firmly in control of all aspects of Disney for close to twenty years now. It is of paramount political importance to control the company that influences children’s minds.
The Left has been in a blind panic since they lost control of Twitter, it was their biggest means of signal boosting and de-boosting and supressing. All of their useless kids who worked there are out of a job. Musk isn’t on our side but he ain’t with their program either and that has been terrifying to them.
Here’s the thing. The Disney deepstate is very closely alligned with the Democratic party. Most of the useless mouths that Iger put on the company payroll have mommies and daddies who are very connected in Washington, like Sana Amanet. The overpriced jobs at Disney was supposed to be their sinecure. And Chapek was about to strip that away.
The top shareholders remain Vanguard and Blackrock. Frankly, these two organizations are less worried about a direct return on their investment than they are maintaining their influence on pop culture.
So what does the future hold.
Least likely: Iger continues with Chapek’s restructuring and then takes credit for the success. The board knows Chapek’s plan is sound, they just don’t want him implementing it. They only brought back Iger to create market confidence in Disney stock.
Most likely: Iger will double down on the woke. The only restructuring he will do is to strip away the leashes that Chapek had placed on necks of Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.
It had to do with ESG.
There has been a major panic with Twitter because Space Daddy just jettisoned ESG.
Disney is considered by most as the industry leader in amusement parks and films. That means they are considered “best practice” and other companies follow their practices.
If Chapek jettisoned ESG there would be an industry dominoe effect. That is completely unacceptable to the political forces that are deeply invested in ESG.
Honestly, was some kind of a Red Phone situation. It still smells like middle of the night panic.
And now I’m hearing stuff about this having to do with the collapse of FTX.
Sure! Why not?
No idea what, but it could be.
Chapek had to have had the support of the board when he released that weak quarterly report two weeks ago. If they had problems it would have come up then.
The consensus is that whatever landmine Chapek stepped on caused him to fired by the board.
That was event one.
Event two was: Okay, so we shitcan Chapek. Who do we replace him with? Well, if we have ax Chapek today and for ___X____ reason we do, then we need to head off the damage to the share price. Yeah, Iger put Disney in the shitty position its in today, but he’s a known face and it guarentees us good press in the Hollywood trades. Maybe the stock price will hop up a little.
Which it did this morning, but cooler heads are already prevailing and the share price is dropping again. By the end of the week it will be back to where it was. Nothing has changed with Disney and it needed to change. Iger has no vision for the company and it needed a turnaround CEO. Supposedly Iger is just going to be a transitional CEO but they spent seven years trying to get him to find one last time. And no, he didn’t pick Chapek to succeed him, the BOD did.
And seriously, who would want to be Disney CEO now? It’s only a matter of time before you get the ax while Iger is still breathing.
Chapek BTW is walking away with a severance package that is somewhere between $50 and $100 million. His feelings maybe hurt but his bank account isn’t.
4:00 pm Eastern
The big question at the end of this day is this: Is it big win for the Wokeites or is it a little w?
Expending your resources to get a win when the timing is bad for a win, is a longterm loss. The timing is bad for a strategic win. Iger is 72 and he will mostly do what he did in his last years at Disney which is throw money at this friends and go to parties. Reversing Chapek’s reforms is easy enough but Iger was more lucky than a visionary. As I’ve said before, what made his tenure so successful was his ability to aquire not companies but irreplacebale men.
Kevin Fiege has been Peter Pricipled out his comfort zone and he can’t handle the job he has now.
Jon Lasseter has no need to leave Skydance.
I would lay money on Jon Faverau having spent the day talking to James Gunn about getting a new job with DC.
The only thing Iger knows how to do is buy companies. Except there isn’t much out there that is worth buying. Paramount would be a cheapish buy but what are you getting? Star Trek?
Sony flat out won’t sell Columbia.
Universal is too big to buy. Same goes for Netflix. Skydance has to be what Iger would want the most but it’s privately held and I doubt if David Ellison and Tom Cruise will sell. I really doubt if Lasseter would stay under those circumstances anyway.
And Iger can’t do business like he used to because he’s not Chairman of the Board anymore, that is still Susan Arnold and it’s very likely to stay Susan Arnold. While she was willing to part with Chapek, I guarentee you she is pissed.
What to expect in the immediate future: Leaks to the business news media from the newly restablished anti-Iger faction at Disney.
On the face of it, this looks like a small w for the Wokeites. Disney’s fundamentals are terrible and Iger is not the guy to change them, he can only makes things more Woke.