Disney’s executive chairman, Bob Iger, is preparing to end his 47-year career with Disney and ABC in December, as previously announced back in Fall 2019. He then announced his career end with Disney formally in February 2020, making it all much more concrete. Iger sat down for an interview to discuss his future and reflect on the past.
Iger had an interview with SiriusXM who released clips of the interview. One of the main questions to Iger, who turned 70 last month, was what he intends to do when his stint as Disney executive chairman winds down at the end of 2021.
As reported by Deadline: “I am excited about life after Disney,” Iger said. “I felt very strongly in moving on, and just seeing what was on the other side. It had nothing to do with being tired. It had nothing to do with frustration.” Iger goes on to say in reference to Bob Chapek’s elevation, “I did not want to overstay my welcome,” he said. “I wanted the timing to be right, and 15 years [as CEO] felt like enough.”
As far as how he is spending his waning months at the company, Iger said, “I’m doing a little bit of teaching, a little bit of leading by example, a little bit of cajoling. And I imagine that in these next few months, I’ll end up slowly becoming less and less relevant. It is pretty interesting when you suddenly lose that title, your emails start to slow down and certainly the phone calls don’t come as often and it’s pretty clear someone else is running the company. It’s actually pretty interesting from a human perspective, and I don’t mean that negatively at all. It’s just an interesting dynamic.”
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The former CEO said it is energizing to confront “a complete blank canvas.” He added, “I’m not retiring. I can’t possibly do that. First of all, my wife’s still working, my kids are all out of the house, I’m not gonna sit around the house binge watching television shows. And so I will figure it out, but I am not going to figure it out while I’m still at Disney and I’m not going to over-commit so that by the time I get out, I won’t have any freedom either.”