(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the uninitiated, the Disney company may still seem like the house of mouse (Mickey, that is) where children have been entertained for decades. In truth, though, Disney is an empire that owns everything from theme parks (a new one just opened last June in Shanghai), television stations (ABC and ESPN) and, of course, major blockbuster movies (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story).
At the helm of it all is Bob Iger, who took the reins “after years of internal dissension, a rebellion by two key one-time board members, a shareholder revolt, and a hostile takeover attempt by Comcast,” Variety reported in a profile on Iger.
In the past 11 years, Iger has managed to turn the company’s bad fortune around and is considered, quite simply, to be the most influential man in a town that values power above all else.
“Under his tenure, Disney’s market cap has risen from $46b. to $165b.
Revenue for fiscal 2016 was up 6% to a record $55.6b. and net income increased 12% to an all-time high of $9.4b.,” the Hollywood Reporter
said when they named him the most powerful person in the industry.
He is responsible for making bold (and expensive) acquisitions with the purchase of Pixar, Lucas Films and Marvel, a move that has made Disney the one-stop shop for producing major blockbuster films.
What’s next on the horizon? An American Idol reboot on ABC will be the network’s attempt to inject excitement back into the singing competition reality show and a 11-acre 'Toy Story' themed expansion in Florida’s Magic Kingdom
He also has not been shy about speaking his mind about political issues. He blasted President Donald Trump for rescinding the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which allowed young immigrants to remain and work in the country.
“The Dreamers impacted by this cruel and misguided decision make significant contributions to our economy and our country, and I urge Congress to take immediate bipartisan action to pass legislation that will protect these innocent people,” Iger said in a statement a day after Trump rescinded the program.
That said, is a political career in Iger’s future? As he’s set to step down as CEO in 2018, Iger has been vague about future plans.
What is certain, though, is that whoever is chosen will have the unenviable task of filling Iger’s shoes.