Walt Disney Company still stands by CEO Bob Chapek after Reedy Creek fiasco
Image via AP.

'Bob and his leadership team have the support and confidence of the Board.'

Walt Disney Company’s board is standing by its CEO Bob Chapek, The New York Times reported Thursday in a new story detailing the latest revolving door of executives at Disney.

Disney fired Peter Rice, the Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, which made Rice the most senior television content executive at Disney who oversaw the making of 300 shows annually for Disney+ and multiple Disney-owned channels, according to the Times’ story.

“The ouster of Mr. Rice went off like a sonic boom in Hollywood, where he is widely admired,” the story said.

Rice is the second high-ranking Disney executive to lose his job recently.

In April, Chapek fired communications executive Geoff Morrell after the company found itself in a fiasco in the state of Florida over the fallout of a measure critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

“After three months in this new role, it has become clear to me that for a number of reasons it is not the right fit,” Morrell wrote in an email to his team, several media outlets previously reported.

Chapek has faced heavy criticism from all sides this year — from Democrats and Disney employees angry that Chapek didn’t do more to fight the controversial Florida law, to Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Republicans who attacked Chapek when he did finally speak out in opposition to the law.

In retaliation, state legislators voted to strip Disney World of its special government district and DeSantis has said the state could take over Reedy Creek’s government services in June 2023 when the district is scheduled to be dissolved.

But Disney’s board is backing Chapek, which is the first time the board has made a statement confirming its support of Chapek this year.

Susan E. Arnold, chairwoman of Disney’s board, told the Times, “The strength of the Walt Disney Company’s businesses coming out of the pandemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future. In this important time of business growth and transformation, we are committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob and his leadership team have the support and confidence of the Board.”

The Times story noted Chapek’s contract is up for renewal in February. Arnold’s words showed Chapek seemed likely to get his agreement renewed and to continue leading the company despite the recent upheaval Disney has faced.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • lagoberto lozada

    June 11, 2022 at 7:54 am

    I agree with Disney . DeSantis won`t be there long. Terrible governor ..The cause of so many lives loss in Florida .

  • John Barron

    June 13, 2022 at 7:20 am

    Trump will bury DeSantis (very overrated!!) and fix this. Trump gets big business and understands Florida is a tourist destination unlike gutless DeSantis (such a boring speaker!!!) After all Trump lives in his own Disney, Mar a Lago.

  • Candi McCord

    June 13, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    DeSantis has the support of the majority of Floridians. Unlike Democrats, he does what is best for citizens instead of Illegal Aliens. He doesn’t give in to the demands of a few Progressive Liberals. We love him as Governor but he is definitely going to be President of the United States in the near future.

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