Disney CEO Bob Iger: The Man Who Reshaped Disney

Robert Allen Iger, also known as Bob Iger, is an American business leader who has served as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company since 2022. Under his leadership, innovation has become a cornerstone of the company’s culture and growth strategies.

Bob Iger is one of the most successful CEOs of this era. He has led The Walt Disney Company to incredible heights, transforming it from a traditional media company into a global entertainment powerhouse. Iger’s tenure has been marked by a number of key accomplishments, including the acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, the launch of Disney+, and the revitalization of the Disney Parks and Resorts division.

Early Life and Career

Iger was born in New York City in 1951. He graduated from Ithaca College in 1973 with a degree in television and radio. After college, Iger worked as a production assistant at ABC News. He quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming president of ABC Sports in 1985.

In 1994, Iger was named president of ABC. He oversaw a turnaround of the struggling network, which had been losing viewers to its rivals. Iger’s success at ABC caught the attention of Disney, which acquired Capital Cities/ABC in 1996.

Iger joined Disney as president in 2000. He quickly became a trusted advisor to CEO Michael Eisner. In 2005, Iger was named CEO of Disney, succeeding Eisner.

Robert Allen Iger began his journey in the entertainment industry, earning a modest $150 per week. Over the years, his dedication and leadership skills propelled him to remarkable heights. As of today, he commands an impressive estimated salary of $27 million in his role as the CEO of Disney. Despite leaving the CEO position after a 15-year tenure in 2020, Iger returned to the helm of the $158 billion company in November 2022. 

His decision to reassume the role came at a crucial time for Disney, as the company faced substantial losses attributed to its Disney+ streaming service under his successor, Bob Chapek, as reported by Reuters. 

Iger’s tenure as CEO has been marked by a number of key accomplishments. In 2006, he acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion. The acquisition was a resounding success, and Pixar’s films have since generated over $14 billion in box office revenue.

In 2009, Iger acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. The acquisition gave Disney access to a vast library of characters, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Avengers. Marvel’s films have since generated over $27 billion in box office revenue.

In 2012, Iger acquired Lucasfilm for $4 billion. The acquisition gave Disney access to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. The Star Wars films have since generated over $10 billion in box office revenue.

In 2019, Iger launched Disney+, a streaming service that offers access to Disney’s vast library of films and television shows. Disney+ has been a noteworthy hit, with over 160 million subscribers worldwide.

Iger has also headed a revitalization of the Disney Parks and Resorts division. He has invested billions of dollars in new attractions, hotels, and dining experiences. The Disney Parks and Resorts division is now Disney’s most profitable segment.

Iger announced his intention to retire in 2020. Bob Chapek succeeded him in February 2020. However, Iger was reinstated as CEO in November 2022.

Iger is widely considered to be one of the most successful CEOs in history. He has transformed Disney into a global entertainment powerhouse. His legacy will continue to be felt for years to come.

Iger has been recognized for his accomplishments with numerous awards, including:

  • Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (2005, 2012, 2019)
  • Fortune magazine’s Businessperson of the Year (2005)
  •  Harvard Business Review’s CEO of the Year (2015)
  •  Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016)

Disney CEO Bob Iger is a visionary leader who has transformed The Walt Disney Company into a global entertainment powerhouse. His legacy will continue to be felt for years to come.

If you wish to learn more about him and his experiences, you can read Robert Iger book, New York Times bestselling book, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, published in 2019.