That’s the day former Disney CEO Bob Iger’s relationship with his handpicked successor, current Disney CEO Bob Chapek, began to fall apart.
Iger had stunned the world in February of that year by resigning as Disney’s chief executive, effective immediately. He elevated Chapek, whom Iger and the board had long seen internally as the front-runner for the position given his operational experience and decades at the company. Iger would stick around as executive chairman and direct the company’s “creative endeavors” to help with the transition.
The timing of a CEO change at arguably the world’s most famous entertainment company couldn’t have been worse. Just weeks after Iger stepped down, Disney began closing its theme parks around the world during the initial stages of the Covid-19 quarantine.
Iger and Chapek seemed to be ready for the pandemic challenge together.
“I can’t think of a better person to succeed me in this role,” Iger said March 11, 2020, during the company’s annual shareholder meeting, a day before the company announced it would begin closing its parks.
Chapek returned the optimism.