He won’t be starring in any of the summer blockbusters – and he is unlikely to ever win an Academy Award. But he is probably the most powerful and influential man in Hollywood. Actors may get paid millions and tread the red carpets around the world. But it is the businessmen that really run the movies.
Warner Brothers, Universal and Disney are the three big players in Hollywood and Disney is probably the number one at the moment. Sports betting sites may be getting a lot of attention right now, but films, television and streaming will always be big business in Hollywood. He may only be filling in while a successor is decided, but Bob Iger is currently one of the most important people in the entertainment world.
Who is Bob Iger?
Iger originally held the top job at Disney from 2005 to 2021. He had made public his intention to retire in 2020 but was then kept on until the end of 2021 to deal with the ramifications of the COVID pandemic. But two years later the man who took over, Bob Chapek, was let go after Disney lost close to $1.5 billion in just three months.
Igor is now back in charge and tasked with fulfilling his dream of making Disney the market leader in the streaming sector. He made the decision to launch Disney + in 2019 after recognizing that Disney’s traditional business model could not compete with the likes of Netflix. Now he must help the dream come true.
Iger, who is now 72, served as president of ABC in the mid-1990s – and then the Chief Operating Officer of Capital Cities/ABC after the media company bought up the television network. Disney then acquired the company in 1996 and Iger retained the job. He did so well that he was made president in 2000 and took over CEO duties from Michael Eisner in 2005.
Under Iger’s watch, Disney became even more of a major player in the television and movie industry, purchasing Pixar, Fox, Marvel and Lucasfilm. He expanded the theme park side of the business as well, opening new attractions in Hong Kong and China. But it was the launch of Disney + that really made his name.
Returning to Disney
Unfortunately, Disney + has not been as all-conquering as Iger had originally envisioned. Bob Chapek was blamed for Disney’s terrible earnings report at the end of 2022 – and his attitude to the way the company had performed. His priorities were deemed incorrect and the board of directors instructed him to stand down, making way for Iger’s return.
Iger is seen as a safe pair of hands that has Disney in his blood. But, more than that, he was the one that first saw the potential for turning Disney into a streaming service to rival the other big names in the industry. Those at the media giant seemed to be very happy at his return and there is a lot of confidence in the strategies he will bring to turn Disney around.
Bob Iger was born in New York City in 1951 and ended up at Ithaca College where he graduated with a degree in Television and Radio, perfect for his future career. He actually wanted to be a new anchorman but only made it as far as presenting the weather report for the college television station.
He has been married twice and has two children from his second marriage. Unlike the stereotypical portrayal of media tycoons and businessmen, Iger is said to be an utterly charming man with unbridled kindness. He has deep political connections and donated $5 million of his own money to help small businesses affected by the COVID pandemic.
Why is Iger So Powerful?
Iger may only be in his current job to steady the ship – and has actually retired from the role once already. But the power that the CEO of Disney holds is far beyond the leaders of most of the other studios and media companies. He may have a lot of work to do to deliver the profits and results that he foresaw when he launched Disney +, but this is a brand that is very powerful.
That power and influence comes straight from the top and if Iger can find the insight he showed when acquiring those big broadcasting names in the 2000s, he may just be able to get Mickey Mouse’s studio back on top. He will need to use all his business acumen and power to figure out how to overcome the subscriber downturn experienced over the last few years.