Bob Iger
Bob Iger

Bob Iger
Robert Allen Iger (/ˈaɪɡər/; born February 10, 1951) is an American businessman who is chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company

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Bob Iger Iger in June 2013Born Robert Allen Iger
(1951-02-10) February 10, 1951 (age 67)
New York City, New York, U.S.Alma mater Ithaca CollegeOccupation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney CompanyYears active 1974–presentEmployer The Walt Disney CompanySalary US$44.3 million (2017)[1]Title Chairman & CEOPredecessor Michael EisnerSuccessor IncumbentPolitical party Independent (since 2016)[2]
Democratic (until 2016)Board member of

The Walt Disney Company

Apple Inc.Spouse(s) Kathleen Susan (divorced)
Willow Bay (m. 1995)Children 4Signature

Robert Allen Iger (/ˈaɪɡər/; born February 10, 1951) is an American businessman who is chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company. Before working for Disney, Iger served as the president of ABC Television from 1994–95, and as president/COO of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. from 1995 until Disney's acquisition of the company in 1996.

He was named president and COO of Disney in 2000, and later succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005, after a successful effort by Roy E. Disney to shake up the management of the company. As part of his yearly compensation, Iger earned $44.9 million in 2015. During Iger’s tenure, Disney broadened the company's roster of intellectual properties and its presence in international markets; Iger 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, as well as the expansion of 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.

Iger was a driving force behind the reinvigoration of Walt Disney Animation Studios and the branded-release strategy of its film studio's output. Under Iger, Disney has experienced increases in revenue across its various divisions, with the company's market capitalization value increasing from $48.4 billion to $163 billion over a period of eleven years.

Contents Early life

Iger was born to a Jewish family in New York City.[3][4][5] Iger was raised in the Long Island town of Oceanside, New York, where he attended the Fulton Avenue School and graduated from Oceanside High School in 1969.[6][7] 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.[8]

Iger is the son of Mimi (née Tunick) and Arthur L. Iger (b. 1926).[9][10] His father was a World War II veteran 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.[9] His mother worked at Boardman Junior High School in Oceanside.[11][12] Arthur's father Joe (i.e. Robert's paternal grandfather) was cartoonist Jerry Iger's brother.


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.[13][14]

American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

In 1974, Iger joined the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).[15][16]

In 1989, Iger was named head of ABC Entertainment.[17] He served as President of the ABC Network Television Group from January 1993 to 1994, while being appointed as Capital Cities/ABC Senior Vice President in March 1993 and Executive Vice President in July 1993.[18]

In 1994, Iger was named President and Chief Operating Officer of ABC's corporate parent, Capital Cities/ABC.[19]

The Walt Disney Company

In 1996, The Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities/ABC and renamed it ABC, Inc., where Iger remained President until 1999.[3]

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. Disney called the change a promotion for Iger. Some[who?] viewed this claim skeptically since Iger was being removed from day-to-day authority at the struggling ABC.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22] On March 26, Iger reassigned Peter Murphy, Disney's Chief Strategic Officer, and pledged to disband the company's Strategic Planning division. Iger also vowed to restore much of the decision-making authority that the division had assumed to the company's individual business units. Disney reconciled with former board members Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold, who in July 2005 dropped their "Save Disney" campaign and agreed to work with Iger. In the process, Roy E. Disney was named a Director Emeritus and Consultant.

On January 24, 2006, under Iger’s leadership, Disney announced it would acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion in an all-stock transaction.[23] 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.

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.[24]

Iger at the World of Color Premiere, Disney California Adventure, June 2010

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 embraces 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.[25]

Iger has cited international expansion, technological innovation, and a renewed focus on traditional animation as Disney's top strategic priorities.[26] 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.[27]

On Tuesday November 15, 2011, Apple, Inc., now led by CEO Tim Cook after Steve Jobs's death, named Iger as a Director, and named Genentech Chairman Arthur Levinson, an Apple board member with a past membership on rival Google's board, as Jobs's replacement in the role of non-executive Chairman; both will serve on Apple's Audit Committee. Jobs had worked with Iger in the Pixar acquisition which had made Jobs the largest shareholder of Disney, and Iger licensed ABC shows to Apple for purchase through iTunes.[28]

In October 2012, Iger signed a deal with film producer George Lucas to purchase Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4 billion following several months of negotiations between the two. As a result, Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars multimedia franchise and Indiana Jones.[29] Disney has since embarked on plans to produce a series of Star Wars films and an Indiana Jones one. Following its release on December 18, 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed over $2 billion at the box office. In addition, Iger has announced that the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort will open its doors on June 16, 2016.[30]

Thomas O. Staggs, former Disney CFO and Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was named chief operating officer (COO) on February 5, 2015, making him Iger's heir-apparent. However, on April 4, 2016, Disney announced that Staggs and the company had mutually agreed to part ways, and Staggs stepped down as COO effective May 6, 2016. It was reported that Staggs failed to receive assurances from the board to succeed Iger, as the board decided instead to widen the executive search, while Iger also did not persuade Staggs to stay on. Iger's contract as Disney's Chairman and CEO was originally planned to run until June 30, 2018,[31][32] but Disney announced in March 2017 that it was extending Iger's term to July 2, 2019 and said he would serve as a consultant for the following three years.[33][34] During the Walt Disney Company's first quarter earnings call (in 2017), Bob Iger stated "If it's in the best interest of the company to expand my tenure, I'm open to that..." [35]

In October 2017, Iger announced that he would be stepping down as CEO and chairman of Disney in 2019.[36]

In November 2017, Disney was rumored to be negotiating with 21st Century Fox about acquiring many of their largest entertainment assets, including the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, likely leaving Iger as CEO until the transition was made.[37] On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire 21st Century Fox's film and TV production businesses for $52.4 billion, requiring that Iger remain as CEO and chairman until 2021.[38] However, On June 13, 2018, Comcast officially announced a $65 billion all cash counter-offer to acquire the Fox assets that Disney was set to purchase.[39] In response, on June 20, 2018, Disney counterbid with a $71.3 billion offer.[40] On July 19, 2018, Comcast announced that they would no longer pursue purchasing Fox, and Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts congratulated Iger.[41]

Personal life

Iger has been married twice. His first marriage to Kathleen Susan Iger ended in divorce.[42] They had two children: Kathleen Pamela Iger and Amanda Iger. In 2005, Kathleen Pamela married Jarrod Alan Cushing in a civil ceremony at the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Rhode Island.[42]

In 1995, Iger married Willow Bay in an interfaith Jewish and Roman Catholic service in Bridgehampton, New York.[43] They have two children: Robert Maxwell "Max" Iger and William Iger.

Iger co-chaired a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign on August 22, 2016.[44] Iger was named to President-elect Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum on December 2, 2016.[45] He resigned from Trump's Advisory Council on June 1, 2017 after Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.[46]

In 2016, Iger switched his party registration from Democratic to independent (no party affiliation).[2]

Accolades and recognition

In June 2012, Steven Spielberg, founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, presented Iger with the Ambassador for Humanity Award, the Institute's highest honor. Iger was recognized for his support of the Institute’s work, his longtime philanthropy, and his leadership role in corporate citizenship.[47][48]

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 historic contributions to entertainment.[49]

In May 2015, Iger was named to the 25th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. He was honored for his stewardship of the Walt Disney Company and his strategic vision focused on generating the best creative content possible, fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology, and expanding into new markets around the world.[13]

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 significant contributions to the industry, and the impact his work has had on the lives of children worldwide.[50]

Criticism Further information: Criticism of The Walt Disney Company

Iger has been criticized for the disparity in his salary and wealth compared to the wages earned by Disney employees. 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.[51]

In the wake of Iger cancelling the show Rosanne due to controversial Twitter posts from Roseanne Barr, Sanders said Iger:

"did the right thing and cancelled Roseanne... I say to Mr. Iger: you have another opportunity to lead. Stand with working families by paying all your employees a living wage and making health care a right, not a privilege."[52]
  1. ^ "Disney Executive Compensation". 
  2. ^ a b Rutenberg, Jim (October 8, 2017). "For Disney's Iger, an Unlikely Political Turn". New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Newcomb, Horace, ed. (2004). Encyclopedia of Television. Routledge (Second edition). p. 1168. ISBN 978-1579583941. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  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. ^ Financial Post: "Here’s what 13 successful CEOs looked like in high school" by Alison Griswold December 14, 2013
  7. ^ Whitehouse, Beth (July 23, 2013). "Disney CEO Robert Iger helps his LI elementary school get playground". Newsday. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ithaca College Alumnus Bob Iger Named Marketwatch CEO of the Year". Ithaca College. 2006. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Miriam A. Iger". New York City / Long Island: (Death notice) Newsday. March 13, 2013. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ "NYT Notices, Willow Bay and Robert Iger". NYT. 2008. 
  12. ^ Temple Avodah website: "Famous members - Robert Iger, President & CEO, Disney Corporation" Archived October 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. retrieved October 11, 2012
  13. ^ a b "Disney Press Release". May 4, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ Barnes, Brooks (April 10, 2010). "Is Disney's Chief Having a Cinderella Moment?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Robert Iger biography". Retrieved July 26, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Looking Beyond the Mouse". The Economist. January 26, 2006. 
  17. ^ Carter, Bill (1989-03-24). "ABC Names Its President of Entertainment". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-07. 
  18. ^ Lowry, Brian (July 27, 1993). "ABC ups Iger, regroups divisions". Variety. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  19. ^ "C-SPAN Biography of Mr. Robert A. Iger". Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  20. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (January 25, 2000). "Disney Names New President In Reshuffling". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  21. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (January 24, 2000). "Iger tapped No. 2 as Mouse TV booms". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Disney Chooses Successor to Chief Executive Eisner (". Retrieved 2017-08-16. 
  23. ^ writer, By Paul R. La Monica, senior. "Disney buys Pixar - Jan. 25, 2006". Retrieved 2017-08-16. 
  24. ^ Weisman, Aly (August 6, 2014). "Bob Iger: The Marvel Brand Is On Fire". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Disney Forum (TBA) : News". Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. 
  26. ^ "Startups, Entrepreneurs and Innovation - Upstart Business Journal". Upstart Business Journal. February 8, 2016. 
  27. ^ "The Walt Disney Company Extends Contract to 2016 for Robert A. Iger" (Press release). The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Bob Iger Named Director Of Apple, Arthur Levinson Named Chairman Of The Board". Huffington Post. November 15, 2011. 
  29. ^ Leonard, Devin (March 8, 2013). "How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for Star Wars". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ Graser, Marc (October 2, 2014). "Bob Iger to Remain Disney Chief through 2018". Variety. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  32. ^ Fritz, Ben (October 2, 2014). "Disney Extends CEO Bob Iger's Contract Until 2018". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Disney extends CEO Iger's contract by a year to July 2019". Reuters. March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017. 
  34. ^ Kilday, Gregg. "Disney's Dilemma: Can Bob Iger Ever Find a Successor?". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  35. ^ Pallotta, Frank (February 7, 2017). "Disney's Bob Iger 'open' to extending tenure as CEO". CNN Money. 
  36. ^ Williams, Trey. "Disney CEO Bob Iger says he's stepping down in 2019, and this time he means it". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-10-06. 
  37. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2017-12-06). "Bob Iger Prepares to Extend as Disney CEO if Fox Deal Happens, but Comcast Still a Contender". Variety. Retrieved 2017-12-07. 
  38. ^ "Walt Disney buys Murdoch's Fox for $52.4bn". BBC News. 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-12-14. 
  39. ^ Welch, Chris (June 13, 2018). "Comcast makes $65 billion offer to steal 21st Century Fox away from Disney". The Verge. Retrieved June 13, 2018. 
  40. ^ Turner, Nick (June 20, 2018). "Disney Sweetens Offer for Fox to $71 Billion, Outbidding Comcast". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 20, 2018. 
  41. ^ Oyedele, Akin (July 19, 2018). "Comcast drops out of the $71 billion bidding war for 21st Century Fox assets, handing Disney victory". Business Insider. 
  42. ^ a b New York Times: "Kathleen Iger and Jarrod Cushing" September 25, 2005
  43. ^ "Willow Bay And Robert Iger". The New York Times. October 8, 1995. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Hillary Clinton Fundraisers Coming to Beverly Hills". The Beverly Hills Courier. August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  45. ^ "Disney's Bob Iger named to Donald Trump's new President's Strategic and Policy Forum". 
  46. ^ 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. 
  47. ^ US Shoah Foundation: "Steven Spielberg and USC Shoah Foundation Institute honor Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company" June 11, 2012
  48. ^ "Disney's Robert A. Iger Accepts the 2012 Ambassador for Humanity Award". USC Shoah Foundation Institute. June 6, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  49. ^ "PGA Honors Bob Iger with the 2014 Milestone Award - Producers Guild of America". Retrieved 2017-04-27. 
  50. ^ "Toy Industry Association (TIA) Press Release". October 14, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  51. ^ Byers, Dylan (May 25, 2016). "Bob Iger fires back at Bernie Sanders: 'How many jobs have you created?'". CNN. Retrieved June 7, 2018. 
  52. ^ Fuster, Jeremy. "Bernie Sanders Calls Out Bob Iger at Disneyland Workers Protest". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved June 7, 2018. 
External links

Media related to Bob Iger at Wikimedia Commons

Business positions Preceded by
Brandon Stoddard President of ABC Entertainment
1989–1992 Succeeded by
Ted Harbert Preceded by
(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– Succeeded by
Incumbent Preceded by
John E. Pepper, Jr. Chairman of The Walt Disney Company
2012– Succeeded by
Incumbent The Walt Disney Company Company
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