Disney CEO Bob Iger Sells Off More Than 80% of His Stake in the Company

bob iger
Credit: Disney/ITM/Canva

CEO Bob Iger has sold more than 80% of his stake in The Walt Disney Company, leading many to wonder what he knows about Disney’s future that the rest of us don’t.

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Credit: Disney/AI Canva

A Massive Enterprise With Numerous Offerings

The Walt Disney Company operates a global entertainment enterprise consisting of theme parks and resorts, resort hotels, television, film, and video streaming content, music distribution services, the manufacturing, licensing, marketing, and distribution of content on DVD and Blu-Ray discs, electronic home video licensing, video-on-demand rental services, the staging and licensing of live entertainment events, post-production services, and more.

bob iger sits on chair on pile of cash with multiple televisions behind him

Credit: The Walt Disney Company/Canva

Disney’s content is distributed under various names, some of which fans might not realize are owned by The Walt Disney Company, including the ABC Television Network, Disney, Freeform, FX, Fox, National Geographic, Star brand TV channels, ABC television stations, and A+E television networks.

Original content from Disney is produced under the banners of ABC Signature, Disney Branded Television, FX Productions, Lucasfilm, Marvel, National Geographic Studios, Pixar, Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Studios, 20th Television, and Walt Disney Pictures.

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Credit: Becky Burkett

Disney has two theme park resorts in the United States–Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida–and four international resorts, which include Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disney Resort. Each resort includes between two and four theme parks, resort hotels, restaurants, and other offerings.

The company also owns and operates Disney Cruise Line with a fleet of five ships, which include Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wish, as well as the Disney Vacation Club, National Geographic Expeditions, and Adventures by Disney. The company also owns and operates a non-theme park resort, Aulani Resort & Spa, on the island of Oahu, Hawai’i.

disney's aulani resort and spa

Credit: Disney

The State of the (Disney) Union

It’s no secret that The Walt Disney Company has been experiencing a season of financial change, especially since 2022, when Disney’s board made the decision to remove then-CEO Bob Chapek and reinstate veteran CEO Bob Iger at the helm.

In February 2023, Iger conducted the company’s first quarterly earnings call since his reinstatement. Following the discussion about the company’s revenue and profits across its divisions, Iger announced massive spending cuts aimed at trimming expenditures by more than $5.5 billion over the next quarter that included layoffs of more than 7,000 employees and a complete restructuring of the company.

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Credit: Disney/Canva

The company recently posted nearly $90 billion in revenue and a market cap of almost $197.5 billion. Despite huge dips in the company’s stock price, shares recently hit a 52-week high of almost $113 apiece. But CEO Bob Iger’s recent move has many shareholders and fans wondering what’s going on at The Walt Disney Company.

Disney CEO Dumps More Than 80% of His Shares

In early 2023, Iger owned 1.03 million shares of Disney stock, valued at more than $97 million. Now, according to Microsoft News, the boomerang CEO owns almost 187,000 shares–proof that over the last year, Iger unloaded nearly 82% of his shares, reducing his stake in the company to just over $19 million.

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Credit: Disney/Disney Archives/Canva

Such a drastic dumping of shares begs two questions. First, does Bob Iger know something the rest of us don’t about Disney’s future? And does part of that future include an early departure on his part?

When Iger took up the reins at Disney again in November 2022, his contract was set to expire on December 31, 2024, but in July 2023, the Disney Company announced an extension of the contract to December 31, 2026.

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Credit: Disney

One year ago, at the end of February 2023, the price was just over $100 per share. At the end of December 2023, Disney’s stock price was $90.40. In late January 2024, that price was at around $97 per share. As of the date of this publication, Disney stock opened at $107.78.

Other Insiders to Watch

Though she resigned from her position as Chief Financial Officer at Disney in May 2023, Christine McCarthy is among Disney’s internal shareholders. Her most recent stake in the company was valued at almost $17.5 million. Executive Vice President Brent Woodford also has a stake in the company, valued at less than $3.3 million after selling shares in December 2023 and in January.

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Credit: Disney/Becky Burkett/Canva

It will be interesting to see whether McCarthy and Woodford choose to sell shares soon. Until that time, fans will have to wait to see whether a major announcement is made by the company that might explain Iger’s decision to relinquish so many of his shares.

What does the veteran CEO know that we don’t?

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!

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