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Disney CEO Bob Chapek's Contract Extension Awakens Twitter

Everyone on Twitter seems to want to weigh in.

When it comes to leadership of a company as big as Disney  (DIS) - Get The Walt Disney Company Report, there truly is no pleasing everyone. there is always someone who will praise and someone who will want to oust top leadership.

The entertainment company's board on June 27 unanimously voted to extend CEO Bob Chapek's contract by another three years until 2025. 

"Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the board has full confidence in him and his leadership team," board chair Susan Arnold said of the vote.

Not Everyone Is As Confident As Disney's Board

Such unanimous confidence comes somewhat unexpectedly given Disney's turbulent year of feuding with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

After employees pushed the company to take a stronger stance against the state's "Don't Say Gay" law, the conservative governor retaliated by passing a bill that tries to strip Disney World of its special tax status.

This comes in the heels of challenges that come with emerging out of the pandemic and the unexpected and unexplained firing of content chief Peter Rice.

While Disney has seen both strong attendance and Disney Plus subscriptions over the last year, some of the uncertainty ate into earnings  — the second-quarter call missed Street forecasts at $1.08 per share.

If Twitter is for pouring out any and all opinions, that is exactly what happened from both sides of the political spectrum. Some criticized Chapek for Disney's slow response to the Florida law while conservatives claimed that Disney's "caving" to employee demands ultimately caused damage to the stock price. 

Disney shares are down more than 45% year-over-year.

"I sincerely hope Bob Chapek has learned he can't treat his LGBTQ+ employees as an afterthought," TV writer Benjamin Siemon wrote on Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report. "I hope Disney's offer to help pay for FL employees that need to seek abortions is a sign he's learning, because he certainly didn't show leadership when I needed it most."

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Others pointed out that, simply by incurring DeSantis' wrath, Disney was already becoming a more progressive company than the company had been in the past.

"To play devil"s advocate for Chapek, Disney is objectively more progressive under him than when Iger was in charge," writes Twitter user Jack McBryan.

The board's position is that Chapek did a good job at navigating the challenges and controversies over the last year. 

Chapex Has Faced Tough Times

One more controversy to occur during Chapek's time at the helm was when Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit accusing the company of sabotaging Black Widow's theatrical release in order to prioritize Disney Plus. (The two parties ultimately settled.)

"Disney was dealt a tough hand by the pandemic, yet with Bob at the helm, our businesses — from parks to streaming — not only weathered the storm, but emerged in a position of strength," Arnold said.

Some sarcastically tweeted that keeping Chapek would inadvertently help competitors like Comcast  (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock Report.

Here Come the Conspiracy Theories

But some hypothesized that Chapek gets to remain simply because there's no immediate alternative while a lengthy hunt would also hurt the company. 

Chapek took over after longtime CEO Bob Iger left the company in 2020.

"Most insiders believed this was the most likely move, if for so other reason than there's no obvious replacement (Bob Iger wasn't coming back," wrote CNBC journalist Alex Sherman.

Others pointed to metrics like subscriptions and park attendance that, when strong, likely supersede everything else.

"For all the negative PR Disney has dealt with, from talent to political quarrels, Chapek has overseen increase in parks profits, is leading streaming successfully, and navigated the pandemic well," writes Julia Alexander of Parrot Analytics. "The bad is bad, but the good is hopeful, which Disney needs right now."