At a town-hall meeting on Monday, Disney employees seemed overjoyed at the return of Mr. Iger, who replaced Bob Chapek as chief executive.
It was part pep rally and part therapy session: For 45 minutes on Monday, Robert A. Iger stood inside a film soundstage in Burbank, Calif., and fielded questions from Disney employees about the company’s dramatic turn from Hollywood juggernaut to streaming-era cautionary tale.
Are you going to sell Disney to Apple? Will our hiring freeze remain in place? Do traditional TV businesses like the Disney-owned ABC have a future?
“These are challenging times, and I feel that now that I have assumed this role again,” Mr. Iger said, according to four Disney employees who attended the town hall, two of whom provided The New York Times with audio recordings of the event. “There is a lot we have to do and quickly.”
Mr. Iger downplayed chatter that Disney was potentially seeking safety in the arms of Apple as “pure speculation” and said cost cutting efforts, including a hiring freeze, would remain in place.