Disney’s board reached out to Bob Iger on Friday about coming back as chief executive, as ousted CEO Bob Chapek and his inner circle were surprised by the news that broke Sunday night.
The unexpected succession in Hollywood’s biggest company came after internal complaints from senior leadership that Chapek was not fit for the job, according to people familiar with the matter.
One of the executives to express a lack of confidence in Chapek was Christine McCarthy, Disney’s chief financial officer. McCarthy was Iger’s CFO before he departed as CEO in 2020 and had a close relationship with the board.
Chapek had come under fire for his management of Disney in the last few years and changes came quickly for the entertainment giant.
It took only hours for Iger to announce Disney employees that the company would be undergoing an immediate restructuring which included the departure of Kareem Daniel, the head of media and entertainment and right hand to Chapek.
“This will necessitate a reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will be leaving the company,” Iger said in the memo to employees.
Iger announced that a team, formed by executives Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, James Pitaro and Christine McCarthy would work together on a new structure “that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”