The successful former chief executive thought he was riding off into the sunset.
Now he’s taken back control and reimagining Disney as a company with fewer employees in the most challenging economic climate in the company’s history.
Just two months after announcing his intentions of stepping down, Disney CEO Bob Iger is back guiding the company through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to The New York Times, Iger told reporter Ben Smith the current viral pandemic is negatively impacting Disney, forcing him to maintain many of the responsibilities he was scheduled to hand over to Bob Chapek.
Chapek was named the new CEO on February 25 when Iger stepped down, but the closure of all Disney theme parks and cruise ships forced the company to call on the industry veteran to stick around until business was back to normal, Travel Pulse reported.
In addition to the issues for theme parks and its cruise line, Disney’s schedule of movie releases was pushed back due to theater closures and its television division has been forced to shut down a portion of its production.
Disney also owns ESPN, which has taken a significant hit as sporting events were canceled, the reoprt said.
Since retaking a more active role with the company, Iger has already floated the idea of every visitor arriving at a Disney theme park being required to have their temperature taken to prevent sick people from entering.
Iger also expects to cut overhead costs in the comping months, with less office space and fewer employees. The company said there is no timeline for changes, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to alter plans daily, the report said.
Meanwhile, Disney reopened some areas of its mega resort in Shanghai more than a month after it was forced to close because of the coronavirus outbreak, CNN reported.
The company said that certain shopping and dining attractions would operate at a limited capacity, while the Shanghai Disneyland theme park itself would remain closed.
Disney closed its parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong in January, and later warned that profits from its facilities in China could drop by US$280 million in the current quarter. The company has also temporarily shuttered its parks in Japan.