Disney CEO has close ties to tech giant

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger has joined the board of Apple, the tech giant announced Tuesday.

The appointment should help Disney maintain long-held close ties with Apple. Disney acquired Pixar, the animation company started by late Apple founder Steve Jobs, in 2006 and was the first company to license TV programming to Apple’s iTunes in 2005.

“Bob and I have gotten to know one another very well over the past few years and on behalf of the entire board, we think he is going to make an extraordinary addition to our already very strong board,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“Over the years, I have come to know and admire the management team, now ably led by Tim Cook, and I am confident they have the leadership and vision to ensure Apple’s continued momentum and success,” said Iger, who will join the Apple board’s audit committee.

Jobs sat on Disney’s board and was the conglom’s largest stakeholder.

Iger already sits on the board of organizations including National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and U.S.-China Business Council.

Iger joins an Apple board that already includes former Vice President Al Gore, Avod Products CEO Andrea Jung and former Northrop Grumman CEO Ronald Sugar.

Apple also installed Genentech chairman Art Levinsohn as non-executive chairman of the board, replacing Jobs in that role.

Said Cook of Iger: “His strategic vision for Disney is based on three fundamentals: generating the best creative content possible, fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology, and expanding into new markets around the world which makes him a great fit for Apple.”

Last month, Disney announced that Iger would transition out of his CEO role in 2015 to a different position before exiting the conglom.

When Jobs died last month, Iger was one of many who paid tribute to the iconic exec: “With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend.”

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