Disney CEO Bob Iger Shares His Resignation Thoughts

bob iger resigning
Credit: Disney/Canva/Disney Archives

In an unexpected but perhaps understandable turn of events, Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced his resignation thoughts from The Walt Disney Company, though his departure will not be effective immediately.

disney ceo bob iger cinderella castle linear television ownership

Credit: Disney/Flickr/Loren Javior/Canva

Bob Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005 and continued in that role until February 2020, when he abruptly stepped down, effective immediately, just before the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Then-Disney Parks President Bob Chapek was appointed to step in as Iger’s replacement, becoming Disney’s CEO on the same day.

Iger Steps Down, Only to Return Almost Overnight

In December 2021, Iger finally stepped down from his position on Disney’s board, and retirement loomed on the horizon. During that time, Iger, ever the savvy businessman, considered various ventures with partners before following through and partnering in several of them.

In December 2021, just weeks before he stepped away from his position on Disney’s board following his resignation as CEO, Iger was in talks to consider becoming part-owner of the Phoenix Suns. Then, in May 2022, the former CEO began talks to partner with eBay in the nearly $300 million purchase of the Funko toy company.

But after a tumultuous tenure, Disney’s board removed Bob Chapek from his post, reinstalling veteran CEO Bob Iger at the helm, effective November 20, 2022.

bob chapek and bob iger

Credit: Disney/Canva

Only days later, Iger found himself tasked with cleaning house at Disney, firing those closest to Chapek, including his former chief of staff, Arthur Bochner, assistant Jackie Hart, and his right-hand man, Kareem Daniel.

Iger: King of the Disney Acquisition

During his first term as Disney’s CEO, Iger proved he had a knack for overseeing major acquisitions. He is credited with the successful completion of the following acquisitions by The Walt Disney Company:

  • Miramax – 1993; $60 million
  • Capital Cities/ABC/ESPN – 1995; $19 billion
  • Starwave – 1998; undisclosed amount
  • Infoseek – 1999; undisclosed amount
  • Fox Family Worldwide (Freeform) – 2001; $2.9 billion
  • Baby Einstein – 2001; undisclosed amount
  • The Muppets – 2004; $75 million
  • CrossGen – 2004; $1 million
  • Avalanche Software – 2005; undisclosed amount
  • Pixar – 2006; $7.4 billion
  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit – 2006; traded for the rights to sports broadcaster Al Michaels
  • Junction Point Studios – 2007; undisclosed amount
  • Marvel – 2009; $4 billion
  • Hulu – 2009; 30% purchase (increased to full ownership in 2019)
  • Wideload Games – 2010; undisclosed amount
  • Tapulous – 2010; undisclosed amount
  • Playdom – 2010; $563 million
  • UTV Software Communications – 2011; $297 million
  • Lucasfilm (Star Wars) – 2012; $4.06 billion
  • Maker Studios – 2014; $500 million
  • Sphero – 2014; unknown minority investment
  • BAM – 2016 & 2017; $2.58 billion total
  • 21st Century Fox – 2019; $71.3 billion

Iger Announces His Resignation

On Wednesday, Disney’s boomerang CEO announced his resignation from the company, though his departure from the Mouse House won’t be immediate. In an interview in September, Iger said that his departure wasn’t too far off, though at the time, he did not give details about the date on which he would step away.

Bob iger wears a tuxedo and stands in front of a wall with disney written in neon letters

Credit: Disney/Canva

On Wednesday, during an interview at the New York Times Dealbook Conference, Disney’s CEO said that he will “definitely” step down from his role when his current contract expires in 2026. He also talked specifically about the ABC television network, owned by The Walt Disney Company, saying that despite talk of the potential for a sale, ABC is not for sale.

As part of the interview, Bob Iger further said he was “bullish” about the potential for Disney’s Shanghai park, Shanghai Disneyland, as he explained that he expects The Walt Disney Company to expand the park “relatively soon.”

Shanghai Disneyland

Credit: Disney Parks

As for his resignation from his role at The Walt Disney Company, Iger’s employer for a combined total of nearly 50 years, Iger says that he will remain at his post, continuing in his current responsibilities as the company’s chief executive officer until the expiration date of his current contract with Disney.

In November 2022, when he was called back to the role of CEO following Disney’s removal of then-CEO Bob Chapek, Iger signed a two-year contract, set to expire in December 2024. But shortly after Disney’s CFO Christine McCarthy announced her departure in June 2023, Disney renewed Iger’s contract, extending his agreement through the end of 2026.

Related: Disney Announces Replacement for Former Disney CFO Christine McCarthy


Former CFO Christine McCarthy/Credit: Disney

On Wednesday, Iger said he would step down when that contract expires, which is reportedly on December 31, 2026.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!