After a turbulent couple of months, Bob Chapek, chief executive officer of Walt Disney, has had his contract extended for another three years by the company's board of directors.
“Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses — from parks to streaming — not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength,” said Susan Arnold, Disney Chairman, in a statement on Tuesday.
Disney stock is down 45% year-over-year to $96.46.
Chapek also faced heavy industry criticism after his ousting of Peter Rice, chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content. Some executives said it was an outright firing.
Rice, a highly respected long-time executive who came over with the Disney acquisition of the Fox Television business, was not given a reason. One report says Rice was told he was not the “right fit.” Other reports suggest Rice could have been perceived as undermining Chapek.
Prior to this, Chapek was criticized for his low-key, underwhelming response to Florida's “Don't Say Gay” bill. Orlando, Florida has been the long-time home to Disney theme-park operations in the state for decades. A senior Disney communication executive, Geoff Morrell, was dismissed as a result.
Days after his muted response, Chapek then slammed the bill during the company's shareholder meeting, saying the company would be donating $5 million to protect the LGBTQ+ community.
Just over a week ago, the Disney-Pixar animated film “Lightyear” -- now part of the big “Toy Story” franchise -- had an underwhelming theatrical opening, pulling in $51 million in North American box-office revenue for its opening weekend. That placed it 18th among all Pixar movie-opening weekends.
Streaming has been a major focus of Disney's performance. Late last year, Disney warned of some softness in the business -- registering only low-single digit subscribers gains of 2.1 million global customers in the fourth quarter.
The company's first-quarter 2022 period showed much better results -- adding 7.9 million subscribers.
Disney is working on an ad-supported option for Disney+ to start up later this year.