On Friday, Bob Iger left The Walt Disney Company after nearly 50 years at ABC and then Disney. The former CEO has been the Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board for the last two years since handing CEO duties over to Bob Chapek in 2020. He had delayed his retirement multiple times in the last few years. However, this time Iger followed through with his retirement plans. Publicly, he ended his run with a tweet where he called his journey “the ride of a lifetime.” He also thanked those he worked with, cast members, and his family as well.
In the days leading up to his retirement, Iger spent three days at Walt Disney World Resort. It currently is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. In October, Iger joined current CEO Bob Chapek at Walt Disney World to help kick off the celebration.
Iger’s tenure at The Walt Disney Company was marked by substantial growth for the company. Since taking over the company from Michael Eisner in 2005, Iger led the company in the acquisitions of several companies. This included Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and most recently 21st Century Fox. He also oversaw the launching of Disney+, Disney’s streaming service.
Iger’s journey with The Walt Disney Company began his career in media in 1972 as the host of the Campus Probe, an Ithaca College television show. At the time, he dreamed of becoming a news anchor when he was working as a weatherman in Ithaca. However, he would learn that this wasn’t to be his path. In 1974, he joined ABC. He started with a menial labor job and worked his way up through the company through the years. By 1994, Iger was the president and chief operating officer of Capital Cities/ABC. When the company was purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 1995, Capital Cities/ABC was renamed ABC, Inc. and Iger remained on as the president. Within five years, Iger was named the president and chief operating officer of The Walt Disney Company. This put him as the number two person to CEO Michael Eisner. Five years later, he would take his place as CEO.
At this time it isn’t known what Iger’s next steps will be. He has talked about writing a book and his name has been thrown about as a possible Ambassador during the Biden administration.
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