But Disney dealt Mr. DeSantis a significant defeat on Thursday, scrapping plans to build a $1 billion office complex in Orlando that was expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs with an average salary of $120,000. Florida officials had repeatedly cited the development as a promising economic opportunity for Orlando, with hotel chains and retailers arriving in anticipation of the project.
People familiar with the decision told The Times that Disney’s feud with Mr. DeSantis — which had escalated into a bitter fight over control of the entity that oversees Disney World — played a major factor. That said, the plan had been devised under Disney’s former chief, Bob Chapek, and his predecessor/successor, Bob Iger, had long been cool to the idea.
Mr. DeSantis didn’t mention the Disney decision in Thursday’s call, though a spokesman said that it was unsurprising, given Disney’s “financial straits.”
The news may stoke further doubts about Mr. DeSantis’s judgment. Several prominent Republican donors, including the billionaire Thomas Peterffy, have already questioned the governor’s hard-right approach to social issues including abortion and the banning of some books from Florida schools.
The billionaire financier Ken Griffin is among those who have criticized Mr. DeSantis’s use of his office to punish Disney. “It’s important that the leaders in both parties stay above the fray when it comes to retaliation against corporate America,” Mr. Griffin said this month.