Robert Iger Biography & Facts
Robert Allen Iger (; born February 10, 1951) is an American businessman and media executive who currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company. He previously served as the President of ABC Television between 1994 and 1995 and the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Capital Cities/ABC, from 1995 until its acquisition by Disney in 1996. Iger was named President of Disney in 2000 and succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005, until his contract expired in 2020. He then served as Executive Chairman until his retirement from the company in 2021. At the request of Disney's Board of Directors, Iger returned to Disney as CEO on November 20, 2022, following the unscheduled and immediate dismissal of his appointed successor, Bob Chapek.
During his initial 15-year stewardship of the company, Iger broadened Disney's roster of intellectual properties, expanded its presence in international markets, and oversaw an increase of the company's market capitalization from $48 billion to $257 billion. He led the major acquisitions of Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 billion, Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.06 billion, and the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox in 2019 for $71.3 billion. Iger also expanded the company's theme park resorts presence in East Asia, with the introduction of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort in 2005 and 2016, respectively. Additionally, he was also the driving force behind the reinvigoration of Walt Disney Animation Studios, the branded-release strategy of its film studio's output, and the company's increased investment on its direct-to-consumer businesses, including Disney+ and Hulu. As CEO, Iger is awarded approximately $27 million in annual target compensation, including a $1 million salary, a $1 million target bonus and $25 million in incentive based performance pay. Iger is widely regarded as one of the most powerful, pragmatic and effective leaders in the media industry.
Early life and education
Robert Iger was born to a Jewish family in New York City. He is the oldest son of Mimi (née Tunick) (1927–2013) and Arthur L. Iger (1926–2010). His father was a World War II Navy veteran who served as the executive vice president and general manager of the Greenvale Marketing Corporation, and was also a professor of advertising and public relations; he also played the trumpet and had bipolar disorder. His mother worked at Boardman Junior High School in Oceanside, New York. Arthur's father Joe (i.e. Bob's paternal grandfather) was cartoonist Jerry Iger's brother.
He was raised in Oceanside, where he attended the Fulton Avenue School and graduated from Oceanside High School in 1969. Iger developed a love of books from a young age. In 1973, he graduated magna cum laude from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Radio.
Iger began his media career in 1972 as the host of Campus Probe, an Ithaca College television show. He dreamed of becoming a news anchor while he worked as a weatherman in Ithaca for five months, before shifting his career goals.
American Broadcasting Company (ABC)
In 1974, Iger joined the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). His first job was performing menial labor on television sets for $150 a week (over $700, adjusted for inflation).In 1988, Iger served as the senior program executive for the Calgary Winter Olympics. The event was marred by disruptive weather and delayed events, and to fill the broadcast schedule Iger's team focused on human interest stories such as those of the Jamaican bobsled team and Eddie the Eagle. The event achieved record-high ratings for ABC, and Iger's performance under pressure caught the attention of ABC executives Daniel Burke and Thomas Murphy, who subsequently championed Iger throughout his ascent at ABC.In 1989, he was named head of ABC Entertainment, green lighting shows such as Twin Peaks, America's Funniest Home Videos and Cop Rock. He served as president of the ABC Network Television Group from January 1993 to 1994, and was appointed as Capital Cities/ABC senior vice president in March 1993 and executive vice president in July 1993. In 1994, Iger was named president and chief operating officer of ABC's corporate parent, Capital Cities/ABC.
The Walt Disney Company
In 1995, The Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities/ABC and renamed it ABC, Inc., where Iger remained chairman until 1999. On February 25, 1999, Disney named Iger the president of Walt Disney International, the business unit that oversees Disney's international operations, as well as chairman of the ABC Group, removing him from day-to-day authority at ABC. Disney called the change a promotion for Iger.Disney named Iger the president and chief operating officer (COO) on January 24, 2000, making him Disney's No. 2 executive under chairman and CEO, Michael Eisner. Disney had been without a separate president since Eisner assumed the role following the departure of Michael Ovitz in 1997, after sixteen months at Disney.In 2005 board members Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold began a campaign called "save Disney" against Eisner. As a result, Disney began a search for the next CEO to replace Eisner. On March 13, 2005, Disney announced that Iger would succeed Michael Eisner as CEO, and Iger was placed in charge of day-to-day operations, though Eisner held the title of CEO until he resigned on September 30, 2005. In July 2005, Disney and Gold dropped the campaign and agreed to work with Iger.One of Iger's first major decisions as CEO was to reassign Disney's chief strategic officer, Peter Murphy, and disband the company's Strategic Planning division. It was around this time Iger started to become known as "Bob" rather than "Robert".
On January 24, 2006, under Iger's leadership, Disney announced it would acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion in an all-stock transaction. In the same year, Iger also re-acquired the rights to Walt Disney's first star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, from NBCUniversal by releasing sportscaster Al Michaels from ABC Sports to NBC Sports.Also in 2006, Roy E. Disney issued this statement regarding Iger:
Animation has always been the heart and soul of The Walt Disney Company, and it is wonderful to see Bob Iger and the company embrace that heritage by bringing the outstanding animation talent of the Pixar team back into the fold. This clearly solidifies The Walt Disney Company's position as the dominant leader in motion picture animation and we applaud and support Bob Iger's vision.
In August 2009, Iger spearheaded negotiations that led Disney to acquire Marvel Entertainment and its associated assets for $4 billion. By 2014, Disney had grossed more than that amount at the box office through the Marvel movies. On October 7, 2011, Disney announced that Iger would become chairman of the board, following John Pepper's retirement from the board in March 2012. On November.... Discover the Robert Iger popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Robert Iger books.