It’s a bad day to be named Bob and be a current or onetime CEO of Disney. As Deadline reports, Bob Iger and Bob Chapek are among the names attached to a lawsuit filed by investors “over the alleged sleight of hand accounting the company used to hide streaming losses.”
You can read the full report via Deadline here, but the upshot of the August 23 filing by Stourbridge Investments alleges “defendants engaged in a fraudulent scheme designed to hide the extent of Disney+ losses and to make the growth trajectory of Disney+ subscribers appear sustainable and 2024 Disney+ targets appear achievable when they were not.” This is not the first time these sorts of accusations have arisen; as the trade points out, “streaming costs and losses” factored into the chain of events that led to Bob Chapek’s ouster as CEO in late 2022, and pre-Chapek CEO Bob Iger’s return.
Stourbridge is asking Disney and the defendants named in the complaint, including Chapek and Iger, to “take all necessary actions to reform and improve its corporate governance and internal procedures to comply with applicable laws and to protect Disney and its shareholders from a repeat of the damaging events described herein.” According to Deadline, Disney’s latest quarterly report noted over $500 million in streaming losses, though—despite the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which Iger has become the public face of on the corporate side—the company expects to “turn a profit in streaming by 2024.”
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