The New York Times spoke to three people familiar with the matter who said that Rice was an “ill fit with Disney’s corporate culture.” The Times also implied Chapek may have been concerned about Rice as he has been one of many suggested replacements for the CEO.
Rice had just renewed his contract last August and it ran until the end of 2024. According to the insiders, Disney will pay him out.
The board coming out in support of Chapek is in the best interest of Disney’s share price. Disney stock has been close to dipping below $100, which is considered a threshold where a lot of things would have to change in the organization. The timing of the firing announcement in tandem with the declaration of confidence seems to indicate the board is doing their job, which is to protect the stock price at all costs.