Disney CEO Bob Chapek. Photo by AP
March 9, 2022 6:00 AM PST

Bob Iger only left the building at Walt Disney Co.’s headquarters at the end of December, and his successor as CEO, Bob Chapek, is already doing things differently.

In the months since Iger’s departure, Chapek has developed plans to launch a cheaper ad-supported version of its flagship Disney+ streaming service and has explored partnerships for ESPN in sports betting—both of which Iger had resisted. This week, Chapek made headlines when he sent a memo to employees defending his decision to stay silent on a Florida bill that has been criticized for discriminating against gays. Some former associates of Iger—who tweeted his opposition to the Florida bill last month from the comfort of civilian life—believe he would have spoken out against the legislation had he still been running the company.

And Chapek’s next move may put further distance between his philosophy and that of Iger. Disney is exploring the idea of significantly broadening the content on Disney+ beyond the strict family focus Iger favored. Executives have even talked about whether Disney+ should offer movies and shows from the horror and thriller genres, a once unthinkable move for a service closely identified with its kid-friendly Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar offerings, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Data Point Amazon Markets
Why Amazon Is Giving Employees Record Amounts of Stock, Even as It Trims Head Count
At a moment when Amazon’s overall workforce is shrinking, the company is awarding stock to employees at a record-breaking clip to keep top talent from heading for the exits. Amazon granted 138 million restricted stock units to employees in the second quarter, as the chart above shows—an 82% increase from the number of restricted shares for employees it issued during the same period...
Latest Briefs
 
Microsoft Lays Off 200 People in Family-Focused App Business Amid Broader Belt-Tightening
Unity Announces China Joint Venture With Partners Including Alibaba, ByteDance
Former Twitter Employee Convicted of Spying for Saudi Arabia
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Data Point Google Facebook
Why Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai Are Worried About Productivity
Executives at Facebook parent Meta Platforms and Google parent Alphabet are feeling the pressure, so they’re giving employees a kick in the pants.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read
‘He’s Making Up a World He Wants to Attack’: How Vivek Ramaswamy Became a Right-Wing Culture Warrior
Riley Moore had never met the man seated next to him. The state treasurer of West Virginia, Moore had come to a conservative retreat in the state’s storied Greenbrier resort in May 2021 to talk about a letter he and 14 other Republican state treasurers had just written to the Biden administration’s climate envoy, John Kerry.
Data Point Crypto Venture Capital
The Metaverse Real Estate Boom Turns Into a Bust
The metaverse is in the midst of a real estate meltdown. Sales volumes and average prices for virtual land have plunged this year, part of a broader slide in crypto and non-fungible token prices.
Illustration by Jesus Escudero.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Debt Is Back for Startups Shut Out of IPO Market
Tech startups that had been eager to go public this year have been forced to put those plans on ice amid the market meltdown.
Art by Clark Miller.
Venture Capital Startups
Venture Capital’s Limited Partners Warn of Fundraising Slowdown
The era of easy money could be over for venture capital firms. Although VC fundraising has so far matched last year’s brisk pace, limited partners—the people and institutions that invest in VC funds—say a slowdown is afoot.
Photo by Alaska Air Group.
Facebook
For Meta’s Next CFO Susan Li, Metaverse Dreams Mean Real-World Challenges
When Meta Platforms reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline last month, the Facebook parent company also made a key promotion with little fanfare: 36-year-old finance executive Susan Li would become chief financial officer in the fall, replacing longtime CFO Dave Wehner, who held the role for eight years and would transition to a strategy role.