Bob Iger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bob Iger
BobIgerHWOFJune2013.jpg
Iger in 2013
Executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company
Current holder
Assumed position
25 February 2020 (2020-02-25)
Preceded byPosition established
Chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Company
Current holder
Assumed position
12 March 2012 (2012-03-12)
Preceded byJohn E. Pepper Jr.
Chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company
Tenure
30 September 2005 (2005-09-30) – 25 February 2020 (2020-02-25)
Preceded byMichael Eisner
Succeeded byBob Chapek
President of the Walt Disney Company
Tenure
24 January 2000 (2000-01-24) – 12 March 2012 (2012-03-12)
Preceded byMichael Eisner
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Chief operating officer of the Walt Disney Company
Tenure
24 January 2000 (2000-01-24) – 30 September 2005 (2005-09-30)
Preceded bySanford Litvack
Succeeded byThomas O. Staggs
President of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International
Tenure
25 February 1999 (1999-02-25) – 24 January 2000 (2000-01-24)
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAndy Bird (2004)
Personal details
Born (1951-02-10) February 10, 1951 (age 70)
New York City, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (before 2016)
Unaffiliated (2016–present)[1]
Spouse(s)
Kathleen Susan
(divorced)

(m. 1995)
Children4
EducationIthaca College (BS)
Signature

Robert Allen Iger (/ˈɡər/; born February 10, 1951)[2] is an American businessman who is executive chairman, chairman of the board, and former CEO (2005–2020) of The Walt Disney Company. He previously served as president of ABC Television from 1994–1995 and as president/COO of Capital Cities/ABC from 1995 until its acquisition by Disney in 1996. Iger was named president/COO of Disney in 2000 and succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005.

During his 15-year tenure as CEO, Iger broadened Disney's roster of intellectual properties and its presence in international markets. He oversaw the acquisitions of Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 billion, Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.06 billion, and the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox in 2019 for $71.3 billion. Iger also expanded the company's theme park resorts in East Asia, with the introduction of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort in 2005 and 2016, respectively. He was a driving force behind the reinvigoration of Walt Disney Animation Studios and the branded-release strategy of its film studio's output.

On February 25, 2020, Bob Chapek was named his successor as Disney CEO. Iger will continue to serve as Executive Chairman until December 31, 2021. Under Iger's leadership, Disney's market capitalization increased from $48 billion to $257 billion.[3]

Early life[edit]

Robert Iger was born to a Jewish family in New York City.[2][4][5] He is the oldest son of Mimi (née Tunick) and Arthur L. Iger (b. 1926).[6][7] His father was a World War II Navy veteran[8] who served as the executive vice president and general manager of the Greenvale Marketing Corporation, and was also a professor of advertising and public relations; he also played the trumpet and had manic-depressive disorder.[9][6][8] His mother worked at Boardman Junior High School in Oceanside, New York.[10][11] Arthur's father Joe (i.e. Bob's paternal grandfather) was cartoonist Jerry Iger's brother.

He was raised in Oceanside, where he attended the Fulton Avenue School and graduated from Oceanside High School in 1969.[12][13] Iger developed a love of books from a young age.[8] In 1973, he graduated magna cum laude from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Radio.[14]

Career[edit]

Iger began his media career in 1972 as the host of Campus Probe, an Ithaca College television show. He dreamed of becoming a news anchor while he worked as a weatherman in Ithaca for five months, before shifting his career goals.[15][16]

American Broadcasting Company (ABC)[edit]

In 1974, Iger joined the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).[17][18] His first job was performing menial labor on television sets for $150 a week (over $700, adjusted for inflation).[8]

In 1988, Iger served as the senior program executive for the Calgary Winter Olympics. The event was marred by disruptive weather and delayed events, and to fill the broadcast schedule Iger's team focused on human interest stories such as those of the Jamaican bobsled team & Eddie the Eagle. The event achieved record high ratings for ABC, and Iger's performance under pressure caught the attention of ABC executives Daniel Burke & Thomas Murphy, who subsequently championed Iger throughout his ascent at ABC.[19]

In 1989, he was named head of ABC Entertainment.[20] He served as president of the ABC Network Television Group from January 1993 to 1994, and was appointed as Capital Cities/ABC senior vice president in March 1993 and executive vice president in July 1993.[21] In 1994, Iger was named president and chief operating officer of ABC's corporate parent, Capital Cities/ABC.[22]

The Walt Disney Company[edit]

In 1995,[23] the Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities/ABC and renamed it ABC, Inc., where Iger remained president until 1999.[2]

On February 25, 1999, Disney named Iger the president of Walt Disney International, the business unit that oversees Disney's international operations, as well as chairman of the ABC Group, removing him from day-to-day authority at ABC. Disney called the change a promotion for Iger.[24]

Disney named Iger the president and chief operating officer (COO) on January 24, 2000, making him Disney's No. 2 executive under chairman and CEO, Michael Eisner. Disney had been without a separate president since Eisner assumed the role following the departure of Michael Ovitz in 1997, after sixteen months at Disney.[25]

As a result of a successful effort by Roy E. Disney to shake up the management of the company, Disney began a search for the next CEO to replace Eisner. On March 13, 2005, Disney announced that Iger would succeed Michael Eisner as CEO, and Iger was placed in charge of day-to-day operations, though Eisner held the title of CEO until he resigned on September 30, 2005.[26] One of Iger's first major decisions as CEO was to reassign Disney's chief strategic officer, Peter Murphy, and disband the company's Strategic Planning division.[27] Prior to Iger being named CEO, board members Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold began a campaign called "save Disney" against Eisner.[28] In July 2005, Disney and Gold dropped the campaign and agreed to work with Iger.[29]

On January 24, 2006, under Iger's leadership, Disney announced it would acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion in an all-stock transaction.[30] In the same year, Iger also re-acquired the rights to Walt Disney's first star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, from NBCUniversal by releasing sportscaster Al Michaels from ABC Sports to NBC Sports.[31]

Also in 2006, Roy E. Disney issued this statement regarding Iger:

Animation has always been the heart and soul of The Walt Disney Company, and it is wonderful to see Bob Iger and the company embrace that heritage by bringing the outstanding animation talent of the Pixar team back into the fold. This clearly solidifies The Walt Disney Company's position as the dominant leader in motion picture animation and we applaud and support Bob Iger's vision.[32]

In August 2009, Iger spearheaded negotiations that led Disney to acquire Marvel Entertainment and its associated assets for $4 billion. As of August 2014, Disney has recouped over $4 billion at the box office through the Marvel movies.[33] On October 7, 2011, Disney announced that Iger would become chairman of the board, following John Pepper's retirement from the board in March 2012.[34] On Tuesday November 15, 2011, Apple, Inc., led by CEO Tim Cook, named Iger to its board of directors. Iger was responsible for making Steve Jobs Disney's largest shareholder by its acquisition of Pixar.[35]

In October 2012, Iger signed a deal with film producer George Lucas to purchase Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4 billion following several months of negotiations. As a result, Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars multimedia franchise and Indiana Jones.[36] Following its release on December 18, 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed over $2 billion at the box office. In March 2016, Iger announced that the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort would open its doors on June 16, 2016.[37] In May 2016, Iger wrote in a Facebook post claiming that Disney has hired 11,000 new employees in the past decade at Disneyland, and 18,000 in the past decade. Iger specifically targeted Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, asking him how much he has contributed to job growth.[38]

Iger's contract as Disney's chairman and CEO was originally planned to run until June 30, 2018;[39][40] however, in March 2017, Disney announced that it was extending Iger's term to July 2, 2019, and said he would serve as a consultant for the following three years.[41][42] In December 2017, Disney extended Iger's contract through 2021.[43]

In July 2018, under Iger's leadership, Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders approved a deal to allow Disney to purchase Fox assets.[44] The deal was finalized in March 2019.[45]

In April 2019, it was announced that Iger will depart from his position as CEO and chairman of Disney when his contract expires in 2021.[46][47] Iger resigned from Apple's board of directors on September 10, 2019, in order to avoid a conflict of interest as Disney and Apple prepare to launch competing streaming services Disney+ and Apple TV+.[48][49]

In September 2019, Iger released a memoir titled The Ride of a Lifetime[50] which, in part, focuses on Iger's years-long efforts to open Shanghai Disneyland Park; overall, he traveled to China 40 times over 18 years for the project.[8]

On February 25, 2020, Iger stepped down from CEO of the company, stating "With the successful launch of Disney's direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO."[51][52] In April 2020, however, Iger resumed operational duties of the company as executive chairman to help the company through the COVID-19 pandemic.[53]

In October 2020, he became a director of massively-funded dairy-replacement startup Perfect Day.[54]

Handling of sexual assault allegations against Disney executives[edit]

In 2017, Variety reported that Iger knew about a 2010 Oscar party where Pixar chief John Lasseter was seen "making out with a junior staffer", seeming to confirm anonymous allegations that Lasseter's inappropriate interactions with young women had been known to company leadership since the 1990s. One anonymous source was quoted as saying, "I know personally that Bob was aware. ... Everybody was aware. They just didn't do anything about it."[55]

In 2019, Vanity Fair reported that actress Paz de la Huerta added Iger to her lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein over allegations of rape, claiming that he and previous CEO Michael Eisner "made a series of decisions that allowed a range of actions by Harvey Weinstein that unacceptably harmed certain employees".[56] Disney denied any knowledge of misconduct or settlements with victims during Weinstein's run at Miramax from 1993 to 2005.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Iger has been married twice. His first marriage to Kathleen Susan Iger ended in divorce.[57] They have two daughters.

In 1995, Iger married journalist Willow Bay in an interfaith Jewish and Roman Catholic service in Bridgehampton, New York.[58] They have two children: Robert Maxwell "Max" Iger (born 1998) and William Iger (born 2002).

Iger has been noted for his kindness by David Geffen, who said: "I have never heard one person say a bad thing about him and I have never seen him be mean".[8]

Iger co-chaired a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign on August 22, 2016.[59] He was named to President-elect Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum on December 2, 2016.[60] He resigned from President Trump's Advisory Council on June 1, 2017 after President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.[61]

In 2016, Iger switched his party registration from Democratic to independent (no party affiliation).[1]

In January 2021, he donated $5 million to aid small businesses struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic.[62]

According to Forbes, Iger's estimated net worth was about $690 million as of 2019.[63]

Accolades and recognition[edit]

In June 2012, Steven Spielberg, noted director and founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, presented Iger with the Ambassador for Humanity Award. Iger was recognized for his support of the Institute's work, his longtime philanthropy, and his leadership role in corporate citizenship.[64][65] Iger was presented with The Milestone Award from the Producers Guild of America (PGA) in 2014. The award is the PGA's highest recognition for an individual or team who has made contributions to entertainment.[66]

In May 2015, Iger was named to the 25th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.[15] In October 2015, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) inducted Iger into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. He was selected by members of TIA in recognition of his contributions to the industry, and the impact his work has had on the lives of children worldwide.[67]

In December 2019, Iger was named by Time as their Businessperson of the Year.[68][69] In 2020, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.[70]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Iger, Robert (September 23, 2019). The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. Penguin Random House. ISBN 9780399592096. OCLC 1111242203.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rutenberg, Jim (October 8, 2017). "For Disney's Iger, an Unlikely Political Turn". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Newcomb, Horace, ed. (2004). Encyclopedia of Television (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 1168. ISBN 978-1579583941.
  3. ^ Whitten, Sarah (April 12, 2019). "Disney CEO Bob Iger says he will step down in 2021, a succession plan is forming". CNBC. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  4. ^ "Bob Iger Talks Live Streaming for Disney's Channels". Jewish Business News. February 5, 2015. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Brook, Vincent (December 15, 2016). From Shtetl to Stardom: Jews and Hollywood: Chapter 1: Still an Empire of Their Own: How Jews Remain Atop a Reinvented Hollywood. Purdue University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9781557537638.
  6. ^ a b "Arthur L. Iger". New York City / Long Island: (Death notice) Newsday. May 25, 2010. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  7. ^ "Miriam A. Iger". New York City / Long Island: (Death notice) Newsday. March 13, 2013. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Dowd, Maureen (September 22, 2019). "The Slow-Burning Success of Disney's Bob Iger". The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  9. ^ Robert Iger, interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on PBS's Amanpour & Co., September 30, 2019, re-aired November 30, 2019.
  10. ^ "NYT Notices, Willow Bay and Robert Iger". NYT. 2008.
  11. ^ Temple Avodah website: "Famous members - Robert Iger, President & CEO, Disney Corporation" Archived October 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine retrieved October 11, 2012
  12. ^ "Here's what 13 successful CEOs looked like in high school | Financial Post". Business Insider. December 14, 2013.
  13. ^ Whitehouse, Beth (July 23, 2013). "Disney CEO Robert Iger helps his LI elementary school get playground". Newsday. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  14. ^ "Ithaca College Alumnus Bob Iger Named Marketwatch CEO of the Year". Ithaca College. 2006.
  15. ^ a b "Disney Press Release". May 4, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  16. ^ Barnes, Brooks (April 10, 2010). "Is Disney's Chief Having a Cinderella Moment?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  17. ^ "Robert Iger biography". referenceforbusiness.com. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  18. ^ "Looking Beyond the Mouse". The Economist. January 26, 2006.
  19. ^ Iger, Robert (2019). The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons in Creative Leadership from the CEO of the Walt Disney Company. London: Transworld Publishers Ltd. pp. 29–32. ISBN 978-1-78763-047-5. OCLC 1138608550.
  20. ^ Carter, Bill (March 24, 1989). "ABC Names Its President of Entertainment". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  21. ^ Lowry, Brian (July 27, 1993). "ABC ups Iger, regroups divisions". Variety. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  22. ^ "C-SPAN Biography of Mr. Robert A. Iger". C-SPAN.org. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  23. ^ Gara, Antoine. "Disney's 1995 Deal For ABC Made Buffett Billions By Marrying Mickey Mouse With SportsCenter". Forbes. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  24. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (January 25, 2000). "Disney Names New President In Reshuffling". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  25. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (January 24, 2000). "Iger tapped No. 2 as Mouse TV booms". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  26. ^ Ahrens, Frank. "Disney Chooses Successor to Chief Executive Eisner". Washington Post. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  27. ^ Burt, Tim (March 27, 2005). "Disney demotes chief strategic officer". Financial Times.
  28. ^ "Disney launches more anti-Eisner sentiment". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  29. ^ Gentile, Gary (July 9, 2005). "Roy Disney, Company Resolve Their Disputes". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  30. ^ La Monica, Paul R. (January 25, 2006). "Disney buys Pixar". money.cnn.com. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  31. ^ "An excerpt from former ESPN president George Bodenheimer's book". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  32. ^ "Disney Forum (TBA) : News". Archived from the original on December 24, 2010.
  33. ^ Weisman, Aly (August 6, 2014). "Bob Iger: The Marvel Brand Is On Fire". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  34. ^ "The Walt Disney Company Extends Contract to 2016 for Robert A. Iger" (Press release). The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  35. ^ "Disney Chief Bob Iger Joins Apple Board". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  36. ^ Leonard, Devin (March 8, 2013). "How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for Star Wars". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  37. ^ Miller, David (March 8, 2016). "Disney's Bob Iger discusses Shanghai resort, 'Star Wars' and ESPN at media conference". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  38. ^ Byers, Dylan (May 25, 2016). "Bob Iger fires back at Bernie Sanders: 'How many jobs have you created?'". CNN. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  39. ^ Graser, Marc (October 2, 2014). "Bob Iger to Remain Disney Chief through 2018". Variety. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  40. ^ Fritz, Ben (October 2, 2014). "Disney Extends CEO Bob Iger's Contract Until 2018". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  41. ^ "Disney extends CEO Iger's contract by a year to July 2019". Reuters. March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  42. ^ Kilday, Gregg (March 29, 2017). "Disney's Dilemma: Can Bob Iger Ever Find a Successor?". The Hollywood Reporter.
  43. ^ Faughnder, Meg James, Ryan (December 14, 2017). "Disney extends CEO Bob Iger's contract through 2021". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  44. ^ Castillo, Michelle (July 27, 2018). "Disney receives shareholder approval to buy Fox assets". CNBC. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  45. ^ Romano, Nick. "The end of an era: Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox is finally complete". EW.com. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  46. ^ Tyko, Kelly; Keveney, Bill (April 11, 2019). "Disney CEO Robert Iger announces 2021 retirement". USA TODAY.
  47. ^ Villasanta, Arthur (April 11, 2019). "Disney CEO Bob Iger Will Step Down By 2021, Succession Process Underway". International Business Times.
  48. ^ "Disney CEO Bob Iger resigns from Apple board as companies come into conflict on streaming". CNBC. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  49. ^ Barnes, Brooks (September 13, 2019). "Iger Departs Board of Apple, Disney's New Streaming Competitor". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  50. ^ "The Ride of a Lifetime". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  51. ^ Mucha, Zeina; Singer, Lowell (February 25, 2020). "Bob Chapek Named Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company". The Walt Disney Company.
  52. ^ Goldsmith, Jill; Hipes, Patrick (February 25, 2020). "Disney Names Bob Chapek CEO As Bob Iger's Successor; Iger Becomes Executive Chairman Through 2021". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  53. ^ Smith, Ben (April 13, 2020). "Bob Iger Thought He Was Leaving on Top. Now, He's Fighting for Disney's Life". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  54. ^ Shieber, Jonathan (October 21, 2020). "Bob Iger goes from managing Mickey to directing a milk replacement startup as new Perfect Day board member". TechCrunch.
  55. ^ a b Gene, Maddaus; Lopez, Ricardo (November 28, 2017). "Disney Faces Daunting Questions in Wake of John Lasseter, Harvey Weinstein Scandals". Variety. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  56. ^ Bradley, Laura (August 28, 2019). "Disney, Bob Iger Added to Paz de la Huerta's Harvey Weinstein Lawsuit". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  57. ^ "Kathleen Iger and Jarrod Cushing". The New York Times. September 25, 2005.
  58. ^ "Willow Bay And Robert Iger". The New York Times. October 8, 1995. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  59. ^ "Hillary Clinton Fundraisers Coming to Beverly Hills". The Beverly Hills Courier. August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  60. ^ "Disney's Bob Iger named to Donald Trump's new President's Strategic and Policy Forum". Los Angeles Times. December 2, 2016.
  61. ^ Stedman, Alex; Johnson, Ted (June 1, 2017). "Disney CEO Bob Iger Resigns From Trump's Advisory Council Over Paris Accord Decision". Variety. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  62. ^ Stimson, Brie (January 14, 2021). "Disney's Bob Iger, wife Willow Bay donate $5M to Los Angeles small businesses struggling in pandemic". FOXBusiness. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  63. ^ Berg, Madeleine (May 2, 2019). "Bob Iger Rebuilt The Magic Kingdom—And It's Likely Made Him Richer Than A Disney Heir". Forbes. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  64. ^ "Steven Spielberg and USC Shoah Foundation Institute honor Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company". USC Shoah Foundation. June 25, 2013.
  65. ^ "Disney's Robert A. Iger Accepts the 2012 Ambassador for Humanity Award". USC Shoah Foundation Institute. YouTube.com. June 6, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  66. ^ "PGA Honors Bob Iger with the 2014 Milestone Award - Producers Guild of America". www.producersguild.org. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  67. ^ "Toy Industry Association (TIA) Press Release". October 14, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  68. ^ Buscombe, Belinda (December 11, 2019). "Bob Iger Is Time's 2019 Businessperson of the Year". Time. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  69. ^ "Just Announced: Bob Iger Is Time's 2019 Businessperson of the Year". December 11, 2019.
  70. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 3, 2019). "TV Academy Hall Of Fame Adding Bob Iger, Geraldine Laybourne, Seth MacFarlane, Jay Sandrich & Cicely Tyson". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2019.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Brandon Stoddard
President of ABC Entertainment
1989–1992
Succeeded by
Ted Harbert
Preceded by
Vacant
(Previously Michael Ovitz)
President of the Walt Disney Company
2000–2012
Succeeded by
Vacant
Preceded by
Michael Eisner
CEO of the Walt Disney Company
2005–2020
Succeeded by
Bob Chapek
Preceded by
John E. Pepper Jr.
Chairman of the Walt Disney Company
2012–present
Incumbent
New title Executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company
2020–present
Incumbent