The following is a lightly edited transcript of our Nov. 22 conference call for Inner Circle subscribers, Puck’s highest tier of membership, featuring Matthew Belloni, Dylan Byers, and William D. Cohan, discussing the Disney board’s smoke signals, Iger’s potential M&A playbook, the emerging succession prediction market, and more. To join our next off-the-record live session, upgrade your membership here.
Ben Landy: Matt, I want to start with the shock level in Hollywood as this news broke last weekend. You noted in recent weeks that there were signs of unusual activity from Bob Iger. How long do you suspect this coup was in motion, and how quickly did it all come together?
Matt Belloni: That’s a complicated question. Iger knows the Disney board members, and he’s very close with a number of them, and they’ve had conversations over the time that he’s been officially out of the company. My understanding is that before Bob Chapek was reupped, there were conversations about whether they were gonna reup him and what the other options were, because some of the board members had their own personal ideas and connections to people that might make good C.E.O.s. Ultimately, of course, they decided to reup Chapek, but with a renewal for only two additional years.