Bob Iger’s Encore Draws Wall Street Applause – But How Will This Disney Sequel End? | Analysis

Performing for shareholders and cozying up to creatives is a tough balancing act, even for one of the most experienced media CEOs in the world

Walt Disney Co CEO Bob Iger impressed Wall Street on Wednesday by driving a hard bargain with the company’s creatives: You get your autonomy and authority back, he seemed to say, but you also must be accountable. Just what that accountability looks like was spelled out on the company’s first-quarter earnings call, with 7,000 layoffs and $5.5 billion in slashed spending, cuts that won’t make the jobs of filmmakers, showrunners and theme-park ride designers any easier.

Wall Street applauded Iger’s encore performance. The stock, which was already on an upward run this year with Iger back in the CEO chair, shot up 5% after-hours to $117.82. Investors always love to hear about profit-boosting cuts, of course, and CFO Christine McCarthy added another sweetener with the promised return of a “modest” dividend, which shareholders haven’t seen since 2019.

Become a member to read more.

Scott Mendelson

Before joining The Wrap, Scott Mendelson got his industry start in 2008 with a self-piloted film blog titled "Mendelson's Memos." In 2013, he was recruited to write for where he wrote almost exclusively for nearly a decade. In that time he published copious in-depth analytical and editorialized entertainment industry articles specializing in (but not exclusively focused upon) theatrical box office. A well-known industry pundit, Mendelson has appeared on numerous podcasts and been featured as a talking head on NPR, CNN, Fox and BBC.