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What About Bob?

Bob Iger’s re-entry upon Bob Chapek’s exit highlights Disney’s C-suite succession problems.

One thing I remember upon joining Disney’s executive ranks as VP & Head of Creative for China Local Content Production is that we were expected not only to assess our people for promotion potential, but also to identify our successors.

This annual memento mori exercise was sobering, and exemplified the emphasis Disney placed on smooth operations and seamless succession planning. So it has been fascinating to witness the failure of that succession planning at Disney’s highest, most impactful level: the CEO.

I riffed on this with my “How Hollywood Works” students at Taipei National University of the Arts in the immediate aftermath of Bob Chapek’s abrupt exit and Bob Iger’s triumphant re-entry, sharing my impressions of Bob Iger, Disney’s succession problems, cutthroat corporate culture and related topics, and my thoughts on what’s next for Disney.

Click here to watch my HOW HOLLYWOOD WORKS classroom chat: A hot take on Bob Igers return to Disney

  • 00:00          Bob Iger’s return to Disney
  • 00:28          The rise and fall of Disney stock
  • 01:09          Chapek’s misfortunes, Iger’s strengths
  • 04:10          The cautionary tale of Elon Musk
  • 04:24          Disney’s C-suite succession casualties
  • 07:14          The corporate meat grinder
  • 08:21          Kevin Mayer’s TikTok/ByteDance debacle
  • 09:24          The importance of staying in play
  • 09:52          Executive attrition
  • 10:45          Student reactions
  • 11:34          Speaking truth to power
  • 12:41          Musk’s Twitter sabotage
  • 13:20          The collateral damage of corporate layoffs
  • 15:40          Iger’s final mic drop: a Disney/Apple merger?
  • 18:06          Content monopolies
  • 18:47          Rumors of Iger’s political aspirations
  • 20:04          The depreciating value of China experience
Kevin Geiger's picture

Kevin is the author of AWN's Reality Bites blog, his musings on the art, technology and business of immersive media (AR, VR, MR) and AI. You can find Kevin's website at and he can be reached at