Robert Allen Iger, better known as Bob Iger, is stepping down as Disney’s Chief Executive Officer in order to take on his new role as the company’s Executive Chairman. The company’s board of directors announced on Tuesday that Bob Chapek, the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will be taking Iger’s place in 2021
Iger has served as Disney’s CEO since 2005 but actually started at ABC in 1974. During his time at the television station. There he was able to get hands-on experience with several different departments within the station such as news, entertainment and sport.
In 1996, Iger guided ABC through their merger with Disney and Capital Cities as chairman of the company. Along with his responsibilities as Chairman of the Disney owned ABC group, Iger was also given the responsibilities of President for Walt Disney International where he laid the ground for expanding the Disney brand outside of the US.
From 2000-2005, Iger served as the Chief Operating Officer, until October 2005 when he became CEO. In his time as CEO, Iger was well known for his strategies to rebuild Disney’s movie studios and pushing into new markets.
His first acquisition was in 2006 when the company bought Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion, which was criticized by analysts for being too expensive for an animation studio. Since the acquisition, the Disney/Pixar partnership has generated over $11 billion in revenue.
In 2008, Disney made what was perceived to be a very bold move by green lighting “Iron-Man”. However, the film made over $100 million in its opening weekend alone before going on to make just under $600 million worldwide. With their first successful superhero movie under their belt, Disney decided to acquire Marvel comics in 2009 for around $4 billion. According to CNBC at the time of the acquisition, Iger mentions, “This treasure trove of over 5000 characters offers Disney the ability to do what we do best.” Following the release of “The Avengers” in 2012, Disney-produced Marvel movies have made the brand more than $18.2 billion.
Following Disney/Marvel’s big release in 2012, Iger announced that Disney had acquired Lucasfilms for $4.05 billion. In 2015, Disney released, “ The Force Awakens”, the first in a brand new trilogy of Star Wars movies that generated $2 billion globally that year. With the final movie, “ The Rise of Skywalker” making over $1 billion worldwide the franchise has made Disney over $6 Billion in revenue. The Lucasfilm acquisition has also benefited Disney’s theme parks with the new Star Wars additions opening early last summer.
The year 2019 is arguably one of the best years for Disney in recent memory. In March, the company closed one of its largest acquisitions with 20th Century Fox for $71 billion. This acquisition gave them access to new properties such as X-men, the Fantastic Four and The Simpson. In November, the company entered the streaming wars with its own service called Disney+ that comes loaded with the brands back catalog of movies and tv shows as well as the content catalogs for all of their previously mentioned partners.