Bob Iger is returning to Walt Disney Co as chief executive less than a year after he retired as the company looks to boost investor confidence and its streaming media unit.
According to Reuters, the surprise comeback saw Disney shares surge more than 9% in premarket U.S. trading, valuing the company at about $182 billion. The Frankfurt-listed stock jumped as much as 10% in European trading on Monday, set for its best day in almost two years.
Iger, who retired last year after 15 years as chief executive, has agreed to serve as CEO for two more years, Disney said in a statement. He replaces Bob Chapek, who took over as Disney CEO in February 2020.
“The Board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the Company through this pivotal period,” Chairwoman Susan Arnold said.
Iger’s return comes in the wake of a recent earnings report that showed mounting losses at its streaming media unit that includes Disney+, with shares hitting a 20-year low the day after the fourth-quarter earnings.
The streaming business lost nearly $1.5 billion in the quarter, more than twice the previous year’s loss
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