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Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth – but it may prove tricky for Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek.
Chapek took the reins of the global entertainment company this week after the surprising sudden departure of Bob Iger, the now former CEO who has moved into the Executive Chairman role.
And although Chapek ran Disney’s theme parks and consumer products division, his promotion coincided with a challenging turn of events....
Namely, the outbreak of coronavirus - a potential pandemic that could keep consumers away from Disney’s parks, off its cruise lines and out of movie theaters – where Disney recently scored huge successes with “Frozen 2” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
Another key challenge?
Growing Disney’s entertainment business amid a rapidly changing landscape.
Before his exit, Iger launched new streaming service Disney+, viewed as an early success with its 30 million subscribers.
But maintaining that momentum will be hard with streaming rivals popping up everywhere, from the newly-launched Apple TV+ and upcoming HBO Max, to existing powerhouses Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
In this digital age, Chapek’s content experience seems a bit… creaky.
The last time he ran a distribution division was when he was head of home video – that’s VHS tapes, for those of you who can remember them.
So, is Chapek up to the task? Investors aren’t so sure. Shares of the company have fallen in the days since – along with most stocks.
One saving grace may be that Iger’s new role includes directing the company’s “creative endeavors.”
But the former CEO won’t stick around forever.
Iger’s contract expires on December 31, 2021– meaning that in 22 months, Disney’s new CEO Chapek will be on this ride all by himself.