Disney joins Apple, Starbucks and Twitter with a ‘boomerang CEO’


This Sunday, the surprise was big at Disney after the ousting of CEO Bob Chapek. It was indeed Robert Iger who took over the reins of the company he had left two years earlier. Hailed for his management, which was marked by the development of streaming and the takeover of the emblematic Star Wars and Marvel franchises, the leader is back for at least two more years. His recruitment is intended to relaunch the entertainment giant, and above all to reassure shareholders, after the fall in Disney shares on the stock market.

The emblematic case of Steve Jobs

Like him, other business leaders have followed the same path. After a voluntary or forced departure, they finally agreed to return to the head of their company. Our colleagues from Business Insider call them “boomerang CEOs”.

The most emblematic case is undoubtedly Steve Jobs at Apple. He confused the Tech giant in 1976 before being fired in 1985. He finally returned in 1997 with the success that we know. The Apple brand is back on track, the iPhone is launched in 2007, and Apple is arguably one of the most powerful companies in the world today.

Howard Schultz’s career is also inseparable from that of Starbucks. The leader took over as head of the company in 1987. In 2000, he left the management, but not the company, and took charge of Starbucks’ international development. A total success, so that the leader becomes CEO again from 2008 to 2017. And in April 2022, he again takes over the head of the company for an interim period of 8 months before Laxman Narasimhan takes over in 2023.

Michael Dell creates his company before leaving it

Jack Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006. But in 2008, he was finally fired by the board of directors, which did not appreciate his management style. He finally returned in 2015, before resigning from his post in 2021. Since then, the entrepreneur has been working on projects related to crypto and social networks.

For his part, Michael Dell founded the company that bears his name in 1984. He finally left the management in 2004 to devote himself to his philanthropic activities. But in 2007, he finally took over the reins and he is still in office today.

Note that this phenomenon is of course not reserved for leaders. In 2019, our colleagues from TF1 had returned to these employees who leave a company before returning to it some time later. While this trend was seen as a betrayal in the past, it is now fully accepted in the workplace.

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