Wednesday, November 23, 2022

On Disney.

I had said that the one single thing that would be the most likely to get Bob Chapek fired, was to screw up his relationship with the state of Florida. It was a glorious deal that was hugely advantageous to Disney - in terms of what they were doing since the 1960s, and to what they continue to do today.

And he proceeded to do just that, but survived for a few months and even got a new contract. 

Now to be fair, there are certainly other factors that could have led to his demise. Massive missteps. Losses in streaming. Poor communication. Some corporate nonsense with "streamlining creative groups." Loss of focus on "guest experience" and instead focusing on that bottom line and using silly business terms to hilight what you're doing (and worse: why he was doing it).  Any or all of those are certainly factors. 

But then the governor of Florida gets (sadly for anyone who's paying attention) re-elected … and a week later, Chapek loses his job. Coincidence? Probably not. 

But again, it may not have been the only factor. 

After there was an internal revolt and some discussion by the board, there was a decision to make a change. They tried several ideas to outright replace Chapek with someone "new," but for now those are on hold. 

Instead they turned to Bob Iger, the previous CEO. Iger had said recently that his biggest mistake/regret was tapping Chapek. And how that decision impacted the legacy he thought he left. 

They offered Iger the job and then turned around and fired Chapek. 

Look, Chapek is savvy enough to know "something" was happening. But he said afterward that the speed of the move was surprising. And that it happened shortly after signing a new contract did blindside him to a point. 

And so Iger has to step in and help plan for what comes next. Does he help conduct a new search? Do they get bought out or merge with someone? Do they acquire some other entity to get their CEO (something apparently that was discussed to get a guy who they had wanted to be the next CEO a few years ago, but who left when Iger decided to stay on)? Or does Iger stay and groom the next person for a few years down the road?

It's a bit of a quagmire. And while it's probably good for the company to stop some of the bleeding, I don't know if things get better, worse, or stay the same for the next 6 months to a year. 

But many are speculating about what Iger needs to do. What those are, I won't repeat. Because I don't think any of us know the big picture plans and what this means for the company. You may love a move he makes. You may like it. You may not like it. You may hate the move. 

At this point it's an "anything is better than the last guy" kind of feeling. 

In any case, I've read a few articles on the topic of "what Iger needs to do to fix Disney," because I'm curious what people think is wrong. 

It's a lot of the expected nonsense. Here's what's wrong and here's how he can make it profitable. Blah. Blah. Blah. 

But more interesting to me are the comments that accompany the articles... those were something. 

While some are thoughtful and maybe suggested solutions, there were 80% of them (heck maybe more) that harped on the general theme that Disney needs to stop its woke-ed-ness. 
  • Go back to being "family friendly" (whatever that means). 
  • Stop with promoting an agenda and grooming and assorted other things that people say but don't understand.
  • Stop disrespecting people (yeah go figure). 
  • Less thoughtful and more direct comments about how people should be marginalized 
  • And on and on and on. The vitriol doesn't stop!

The twice impeached president was mentioned. The governor was mentioned. 

When you see things like that, you realize what the bigger problem is in society. 

A few posters pointed out that all of the things most people mention related to "being woke" actually started under Iger. So....don't expect too much. 

And gold star to those folks for understanding it. 

But here we are. Good luck to us all. 

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This is what it’s all about

Succinct. But right on point. Stop making it everything a political statement.