Robert Iger
Stewart Cook/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Walt Disney Company, The

Robert
Iger

Chairman / CEO

When Iger signed a one-year extension in March 2017 to keep him in the top job at Disney through July 2019, it put a temporary halt to the succession drama that has long dogged the company. But the extension also sets up a fresh round of suspense over what he’ll do with that extra time, as speculation mounts he must make big moves to protect Disney’s future.

Iger has a strong track record for taking savvy risks: $4.05 billion for “Star Wars” owner Lucasfilm in 2012, $4 billion for Marvel in 2009 and $7.4 for Pixar Animation in 2006. Critics complained that Disney was overpaying, but all those big-ticket acquisitions paid off handsomely.

While there were expectations Disney could swallow up Netflix or Twitter to better control distribution of its content, Iger went in a different direction. Disney bought a one-third stake for $1 billion in Major League Baseball’s sports video streaming arm BAMTech in 2016, then exercised an option to purchase a majority stake in August. He’s also looking to take Disney direct to consumer with a pair of new streaming services powered by BAMTech, one featuring Disney movies and the other for ESPN.

Significant subscriber declines at the sports network has rattled investor confidence in Disney’s profit machine, which accounted for one-quarter of corporate operating income in recent years. Disney’s other TV properties are also facing challenges, a shortcoming compensated for by the company’s incredible roster of theatrical franchises, from “Cars” to “Avengers.” He also pushes internal growth on many fronts including opening the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort theme park in 2016.

Iger began his career in 1974 at ABC Television, which Disney eventually acquired. He moved over to Disney corporate executive suite in 1996. He’s on the board of tech giant Apple and is a graduate of Ithaca College.

Career

  • Walt Disney Company, The
  • ABC Entertainment

Education

  • Ithaca College (NY, USA)

Variety Honors

  • Showman of the Year

News from Variety

Disney CEO Robert Iger Sells $21.7 Million in Company Stock

Disney CEO Robert Iger Sells $21.7 Million in Company Stock

With the good times continuing to roll at Disney, CEO Robert Iger has cashed in some of his stock in the company, taking in some $21.7 million by selling 200,000 shares, according to an official filing.Iger continues to hold more than 1.1 million shares in the entertainment conglomerate, whose shares recently reached an all-time high. At an average price of $108.73 per share when he sold on Monday, the Disney boss's sale netted him $21,746,000, an SEC filing showed.Iger has...

MORE NEWS

Deep Dive

Want more information on Robert Iger?

Variety's premium research & data service, Variety Insight, provides a wealth of information around everyone working in entertainment. Access contact information, development slates, ratings, box office, credits and more from the industry's leading source for entertainment data.