Disney stock is expected to flirt with an opening price of $100 a share when the bell rings on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday morning.
The 71-year old Iger was reinstalled as chief executive by the company’s board late Sunday night, replacing his hand-picked successor, Chapek, 62, who departs after a rough two-and-a-half year tenure that saw Disney’s stock plummet some 53% in the last 20 months.
Shares of Disney went from an all-time high of $197.16 in March of last year to $91.80 at the close of trading on Wall Street on Friday.
Chapek will exit his perch atop Disney an even richer man. His severance package is reportedly worth more than $23 million — a sum that does not include millions more if the company’s stock price recovers to 2021 levels, according to Bloomberg News.
As per the terms of his contract, Chapek is entitled to collect his full salary that he was scheduled to receive for the entire duration of his term as CEO, Bloomberg News is reporting.
Bloomberg calculated Chapek’s exit package by factoring in the pension that he earned over his decades of service at the Mouse House as well as his base salary and stock options.
Earlier this month, Disney reported weaker-than-expected earnings for fourth quarter — a disappointing end to a year in which the company generated record profits and revenue in its theme parks, but was also hit with losses in its streaming and digital departments.
“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,” Susan Arnold, chairman of the board, said in a statement.
“We thank Bob Chapek for his service to Disney over his long career, including navigating the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.”
Disney’s announcement came as a surprise, particularly since Iger has repeatedly stated in recent months that he had no interest in reassuming his old job.
In September, Iger joined Thrive Capital, a venture capital firm run by Josh Kushner, the brother of real estate scion and former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The New York-based firm founded by Josh Kushner, a former Goldman Sachs banker, has backed a host of high-profile startups, including Instagram, Spotify Technology, Robinhood Markets and payments provider Stripe.