Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said during his first town hall since returning to the company that he won't remove his hiring freeze as he reexamines his cost structure.
Iger quoted a song from the musical "Hamilton" that said "There is no more status quo". According to sources who heard the town hall, the sun came up and the world continued to spin.
It was Iger's first town hall with staff since Disney announced last week that he would replace Bob chapek, who had been in the job for less than three years. Disney was criticized for its treatment of employees, its response to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" legislation and its decision to take away budgetary power from creative heads.
There were plans for a hiring freeze, layoffs and cost cuts. Disney shares have been falling.
Iger told staffers on Monday that it was an easy yes to return to the job, even though he had previously said he wouldn't. He said it was the right thing for him to do because he loves Disney. CNBC reported last week that several senior executives recently told board members they were no longer confident in the leadership.
Iger took questions from an audience after about five minutes of introduction. Before the event started, Disney employees could submit questions. Many in attendance thanked Iger for coming back.
Iger gave up the CEO job at Disney in 2020 so that the company could focus on making its streaming business profitable. Disney won't be pursuing any major acquisitions in the near future.
Iger said in a memo last week that one of his first actions will be to redo Disney's organizational structure, which used to be centralized. Iger told the town hall that a new structure will take time. He said that will be done in conjunction with other executives.
Iger wouldn't make a big deal out of Disney's work-from- home policies, but he did say that creative businesses work best when employees are together in person.
Iger said his wife told him to run Disney again so he wouldn't run for president.
Iger said at the end of his speech that he wouldn't have come back if he didn't think Disney's future was bright.
Jim Cramer said that Bob Iger will be able to bring back talent to Disney.
Sarah Whitten was a contributor to this report.