He’s been described as a real class act, an innovator, a master problem-solver, a visionary, and an all-around nice guy. The Walt Disney Company enjoyed his leadership for more than 15 years as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, and it enjoyed nearly two bonus years with him serving in the capacity of Chairman of the Board for Disney.
Now it’s time to say goodbye, and that’s never an easy thing.
As was announced last week, Disney’s Bob Iger will step down once and for all at the end of December, as he steps away from his final role with The Walt Disney Company–that of Chairman of the Board. He will be replaced by Susan Arnold, the first female to ever fill the position in the company’s 98-year-long history.
Iger oversaw and was instrumental in the following acquisitions while CEO of 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
His contributions to The Walt Disney Company and to everything the company touched are undeniable, and he will be missed.
Ahead of his departure at the end of the month, Iger penned a letter that was sent out to employees. You can read the letter in its entirety here:
“As my time at The Walt Disney Company comes to a close, I write to thank all of you for what has been a thrilling and immensely gratifying 47½ years. I would love to be able to do this in person, but the global pandemic has deprived me of that opportunity, so please forgive the less-than-personal nature of this farewell.
It is impossible for me to fully express my feelings, but I would like to leave you with a few thoughts, some memories, and above all else, my deepest gratitude.
My ABC/Disney journey began when I was 23 and ends as I approach my 71st birthday. It has been unpredictable, exhilarating, wildly fulfilling, and certainly a lot of fun. To say I have tremendous respect and affection for the thousands of people I have worked with over the years would be a gross understatement.
I have enormous pride in what we have accomplished and transforming Disney into one of the world’s most admired companies is at the top of my list. We did this by producing the finest in content and experiences, embracing cutting-edge technologies, and expanding our presence around the world, and nothing has been more important to me than imparting and applying the highest standards of quality and integrity when it comes to our people and everything we create.