Bob Iger

4 min read Jul 11, 2024
Bob Iger

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Bob Iger: The Man Who Saved Disney

Robert Allen Iger is an American businessman who served as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company from 2005 to 2020. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful CEOs in the entertainment industry, credited with transforming Disney into a global media powerhouse.

Early Life and Career

Iger was born in 1951 in New York City and grew up on Long Island. He graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in television and radio. After college, he worked at ABC News for 14 years, rising through the ranks to become president of ABC Entertainment. In 1995, he joined Disney as president of ABC Group.

CEO of Disney

In 2005, Iger succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO of Disney. He faced a challenging situation with the company struggling to compete with the rise of new media companies like Google and Netflix. Iger quickly made strategic moves to transform Disney, including:

  • Acquiring Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm: These acquisitions brought iconic franchises like Toy Story, Iron Man, and Star Wars under the Disney umbrella, significantly expanding its content library and brand power.
  • Launching Disney+: Iger spearheaded the launch of Disney+, a streaming service that has quickly become a major player in the streaming wars.
  • Investing in theme parks and cruise lines: Iger expanded Disney's theme park and cruise line businesses, making them even more popular and profitable.
  • Focusing on innovation: Iger encouraged innovation within Disney, resulting in the development of new technologies and experiences for consumers.

Under Iger's leadership, Disney's stock price soared, and the company became the world's largest entertainment conglomerate. He also oversaw the completion of the Shanghai Disneyland resort, a major milestone for the company.

Legacy

Iger's legacy is one of transformative leadership and innovation. He is credited with saving Disney from stagnation and turning it into a global media empire. His focus on storytelling, technology, and brand building has cemented Disney's position as a cultural touchstone for generations to come.

Beyond Disney

Even after stepping down as CEO in 2020, Iger remains an influential figure in the entertainment industry. He has returned to Disney as CEO in 2023 to help the company navigate a challenging media landscape. He is also involved in various philanthropic endeavors.

Bob Iger's career is a testament to his leadership, vision, and ability to adapt to changing times. He is a true icon in the entertainment industry and his impact on the world of storytelling will be felt for many years to come.