Metaverse-backer Bob Iger has announced a surprise return to his former role as CEO of Disney, taking over from now-former CEO Bob Chapek.
While Iger is most well known for serving 15 years as the CEO of the global entertainment conglomerate, the Disney executive became known in the crypto community after becoming a director, adviser and investor in Genies, a digital avatar platform running on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain.
“Thrilled to be joining the Genies Board of Directors to help Akash Nigam and company empower humans to create the 'mobile apps of Web3': avatar ecosystems,” Iger said at the time.
Iger was still at Disney as an executive and board chairman when the company filed for a metaverse-related patent on Dec. 28.
The patent was for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue," and according to the filing, would allow visitors to Disney theme parks to use mobile phones to generate and project personalized 3D effects onto nearby physical spaces, such as walls and other objects.
However, Disney said at the time there were “no current plans” to use the “virtual-world simulator” patent, and the company has yet to announce any products related to the patent.
Related: Silicon Valley tech CEOs are not big fans of metaverses
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Iger’s return will reportedly only be temporary, though, with Iger only agreeing to serve as Disney’s CEO for the next two years.
During his new term as CEO, Iger will reportedly work with the board to set the strategic direction for the company and work to develop a successor.
In his absence, Disney has continued to work toward projects involving the metaverse, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain throughout the year.
In September, Disney started hiring a principal counsel to work on transactions involving NFTs, the metaverse, blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi).
Specifically seeking someone to provide “full product life cycle legal advice and support for global NFT products” and ensure they comply with all current laws and regulations on United States soil and internationally.