Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Bob Iger steps down following Disney+ success



Without any fanfare, Bob Iger abruptly stood down as Disney CEO on Tuesday, handing the reins to Bob Chapek, effective immediately.

Iger will remain at The Walt Disney Company through the end of 2021, but as chairman, and he told CNBC that in his new role he will focus on the creative side of the company.

“As we looked at the businesses, we felt we have a great set of assets, we have a great strategy,” Iger said. “What’s next? And what was next in terms of my own priorities is making sure that the creative pipeline of the company was really rich, that all of our creative engines were working extremely well, and I wanted to spend more and more of my time on that. The only way I was able to do that was to give up the day-to-day running of the company, to pass the torch on to Bob [Chapek].”

Iger has overseen a successful acquisition strategy since 2005. Beginning with the purchase of Pixar from the late Steve Jobs to Lucasfilm in 2012 from George Lucas and most recently 20th Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch. The latter has given Disney a majority stake in Hulu.

This has bolstered Disney's content portfolio and culminated in the launch of Disney+ last November. The nascent streaming service continues to expand into new markets and threatens established streamers such as Netflix (with whom Disney had previously partnered).

During Iger's 15-year tenure as Disney CEO, Marvel Studios has emerged as a dominant box office force and Star Wars has enjoyed a renaissance despite the fandom menace and perhaps questionable creative choices such as overexposing the brand, which Iger has conceded to.

Like Jobs at Apple, Iger will be a tough act to follow and Disney's stock dipped.

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