Disney CEO Bob Iger tells employees to return to the office four days a week

Bob Iger poses with Mickey Mouse at the 90th Annual Mickey Show at the Shrine Auditorium on October 6, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Valerie Macon | AFP | Getty Images

disney CEO Bob Iger told hybrid employees on Monday that they must return to corporate office four days a week starting March 1, according to an email obtained by CNBC.

In the email, Iger emphasized the importance of in-person collaboration.

“As I met with teams from across the company over the past few months, it reminded me of the enormous value of being with the people you work with,” Iger wrote. “As you’ve heard me say many times, creativity is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do at Disney. And in a creative business like ours, there’s no substitute for ability. to connect, observe and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors.”

During the pandemic, many companies have opted for work-from-home or hybrid models that have minimized large gatherings of people, and therefore the spread of Covid. As vaccination rates rose and cases and hospitalization rates fell, companies like Disney sought to bring staff back into offices and return to a more normalized pre-pandemic work environment.

Iger’s four-day-a-week stipulation is relatively strict compared to other large companies, which have opted for two or three mandatory days of attendance for hybrid employees. Apple-mandated employees return to work three days a week in September. Twitter owner Elon Musk, who slept at his company’s facilities as a sign of commitment, ordered nearly all Twitter employees to return to the office five days a week in November.

Disney’s new policy comes less than two months after he returned to lead the company, promising a two-year tenure that would jump-start the company’s growth and develop a successor to replace him.

Iger’s return in November came days after former CEO Bob Chapek said he planned to cut costs at the company, which had been burdened by rising costs at its streaming service, Disney+. Iger’s return also comes as traditional media companies face a rapidly changing landscape as ad dollars dry up and consumers increasingly cut cable subscriptions in favor of streaming.

Iger plans to revamp Disney’s Media & Entertainment Distribution division, which oversees the company’s content and distribution. He maintained a hiring freeze put in place by Chapek while changing the company’s organizational structure to return budgetary powers to those who select creative projects.

disney shares have fallen about 40% over the past year. The company has a market valuation of approximately $174 billion.

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