Disney CEO promises to exceed ‘highest expectations’ of fans after Disneyland visit

A recent trip to Disneyland to take part in a decades-old Christmas tradition inspired returning Disney CEO Bob Iger to pen a holiday letter promising to exceed the highest expectations of the company’s most fervent fans.

Iger used the personally addressed open letter to generations of Disney fans to express his gratitude for their devotion and enthusiasm via a mass email to D23 fan club members on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

“Looking at all the opportunities ahead, I can honestly say there has never been a better time to be a Disney fan,” Iger wrote. “It is an extraordinary privilege to lead this remarkable company again, and I am so grateful for your continued passion for Disney.”

Iger returned to lead the company again in November after former Disney CEO Bob Chapek was removed following a rocky tenure marked by missteps in Hollywood, stumbles on Wall Street and poor relations with the passionate Disney fanbase.

The year-end letter opened with Iger painting a scene of reconnecting with fans during the Candlelight Processional ceremony at Disneyland’s Town Square in early December.

“It was invigorating to be surrounded by so many guests who make what we do possible,” Iger wrote. “We love your passion for our company and your enthusiasm for what we create, and we will continue to do our best to exceed your highest expectations.”

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The warm and fuzzy fan service by Iger contrasted sharply with the cool and prickly reception Chapek received from all corners of the Disney megaverse.

Chapek wasn’t very good at being CEO, according to Inc. tech columnist Jason Aten.

“During his short tenure, Chapek alienated everyone from employees to the governor of Florida, to A-list movie stars, to investors, to Disney’s theme park guests,” Aten wrote in Inc. “That’s an almost impressive list considering how little time he had to make them all angry.”

Winning back the trust of Disney’s fans and exceeding their high expectations are high on Iger’s priority list, according to Aten.

“Expectations, you see, really are everything,” Aten wrote in Inc. “Your customers’ affection for your brand isn’t defined by the experience they have, but by whether that experience lives up to their expectations.”

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