Disney’s Iger Tells Employees Hiring Freeze To Stay in Place
Walt Disney's returning CEO Bob Iger told employees that he has no plans to end a hiring freeze put in place by his predecessor.
(Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co.’s returning Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told employees at a company town hall on Monday that he has no plans to end a hiring freeze put in place by his predecessor earlier this month.
Iger, speaking at his first companywide event since being reinstalled as CEO on Nov. 20, suggested that staffers shouldn’t expect major changes. Iger said workers need to be skeptical about the future of traditional TV as viewers depart for streaming services and that he’ll focus on profitability in the company’s online TV businesses, rather than subscribers, according to a person listening to the event who asked not to be identified.
Iger was asked, after his brief remarks, about a possible merger between Disney and Apple Inc. Iger called that “pure speculation.” The executive said he’s comfortable with the assets the company has currently.
He also addressed questions about the company’s standing in Florida in the wake of legislation that limits discussion of gender identity in schools and the subsequent termination of a special tax district the company operates in the state. Iger said the company remains committed to inclusion. Florida and the Reedy Creek Improvement District are also important to the company, he said.
Iger will study the company’s theme-park reservation system with resorts division chief Josh D’Amaro. Disney introduced a reservation system during the pandemic. It’s been particularly unpopular with season-pass holders who want to attend spontaneously.
Iger, 71, served as Disney’s CEO for 15 years and retired as executive chairman last December. He was called back by the company’s board after Disney’s share price collapsed and employees grew disenchanted with then-CEO Bob Chapek.
(Updates with additional comments in fourth paragraph.)
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