In a statement on Sunday, Susan Arnold, chairman of Disney’s Board of Directors, announced [CEO Bob Chapek] has stepped down from his position as head of the company and former CEO Bob Iger would be returning from retirement to take back the reins of power.
Chapek engaged Disney in opposition to a bill in the Florida legislature that prohibited sexually explicit material from being distributed to children up to third grade in Florida’s public schools. Chapek also vowed to donate $5 million of the company’s money to a campaign that promotes gender transition for children.
In response to Disney’s campaign, the state legislature passed another bill, stripping the Disney corporation of a special tax status it had enjoyed for its DisneyWorld amusement park in Orlando. Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, signed the tax-status bill into law in April.
The law was not received well by Disney shareholders: according to a Washington Examiner article at the time of the law’s enactment, the stock value of Disney fell 8.5% in the days leading up to Governor DeSantis signing the tax-status bill.
In addition to the stock-market fallout from its involvement in Florida education politics, Disney is also struggling with mounting costs for its streaming service. According to Investopedia, Disney’s financial report for the third quarter of this year
fell below expectations late Tuesday [November 8th] after a bigger-than-expected loss for its Disney+ streaming service, sending shares of the entertainment and media giant 9% lower in after-hours trading.
Returning CEO Bob Iger is expected to run Disney for two years while designing a strategy to put the company back on solid financial ground, and while the company searches for a permanent replacement for Chapek.