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The Chapek Coup & The Adults at FTX

Bob Iger
Bob Iger wasn’t Disney’s founder, but he’s about as close to a founder as a manager can get. Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images
William D. Cohan
November 23, 2022

It’s unusual, of course, but there are some precedents for the return of Bob Iger to the corner office. Steve Jobs, as we know, had two stints at the helm of Apple, the second one coming after he had been kicked out. The wisdom of returning Jobs to the C-suite at Apple was legendarily brilliant. Apple’s luster was restored, although the real story behind Apple’s success lies with Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook, who has managed to increase the company’s market valuation from $300 billion to around $2.5 trillion. As my friend Scott Galloway likes to say, Cook has created more shareholder value than any single person in human history. 

The other precedent is Howard Schultz, at Starbucks. Schultz is now on his third tour of duty as C.E.O. of the coffee retailer, sandwiching them between a failed run for president of the United States. Since he returned to the company, in April 2022, the Starbucks stock is somehow up one-third in a tough market for equities. The Return of Bob caused Disney’s stock to shoot up as much as 7 percent on Monday, increasing the company’s market valuation by more than $12 billion. Maybe there is something to O.G.s coming back to these companies.