Disney CEO Bob Iger Named One of Time’s Most Influential People for 2023

Shannen Ace

Disney CEO Bob Iger Named One of Time’s Most Influential People for 2023

Shannen Ace

Disney CEO Bob Iger Named One of Time’s Most Influential People for 2023

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has made the Time 100 list in the “Innovator” category as one of the most influential people in 2023.

bob iger time 2023

In a four-minute video on the Time website, Iger speaks about his decades-long career with ABC and Disney and how Disney’s values keep it standing.

In a full interview with Time, Iger also spoke about Disney’s ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Disney’s recent executive layoffs, and the company’s future.

Iger said of his return, “I was brought back for a reason. The company had gone through a very difficult period, exacerbated by a global pandemic. And more than anything, the company needed stability, needed to establish a set of priorities and focus on them. The only way you end up getting to success is by deciding what the opportunities are, and then organizing your people and your company to go after them.”

Mary Barra, the CEO of GM who is also on Disney’s board of directors, wrote the following about Iger for Time:

For 100 years, the Walt Disney Co. has entertained, informed, and inspired people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling. Bob Iger has guided the company to success for nearly two decades and is one of the best leaders I know.

There’s a reason Bob remains one of the world’s most admired CEOs. He has led landmark acquisitions, championed culture-defining films, launched innovative distribution platforms, and delivered strong financial results, all while never forgetting the people—the employees and the fans—who make it all possible. His return as CEO in 2022 ushered in a new era of transformation and creative excellence for the most magical company on earth.

His authenticity and pragmatism set him apart. “True authority and true leadership comes from knowing who you are and not pretending to be anything else,” he said. I’ve personally learned so much from his leadership.

Bob Iger & Disney

Bob Iger

Bob Iger began working for ABC in 1974, performing menial labor on TV sets and working his way up through the ranks. By 1988, he was serving as the senior program executive for the Calgary Winter Olympics, which achieved record-high ratings for the network.

He was named head of ABC Entertainment in 1989. During his tenure, he greenlit shows that have made lasting impressions like “Twin Peaks” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

He was president of the ABC Network Television Group from January 1993 to 1994. He was named Capital Cities/ABC senior vice president in March 1993 and then executive vice president in July 1993. The next year, he was named president and COO of Capital Cities/ABC.

When The Walt Disney Company purchased ABC in 1995, Iger remained chairman. He was named president of Walt Disney International in February 1999.

He was promoted to president and COO directly under CEO Michael Eisner in January 2000.

In March 2005, Disney announced that Iger would be taking over the position of CEO from Eisner. Eisner officially exited the company in September 2005.

Iger became famous for all of Disney’s acquisitions during his tenure as CEO, starting in 2006 when the company purchased Pixar. Iger also re-acquired the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit that year.

In 2009, Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment, and in 2012, they purchased Lucasfilm. In 2011, Iger became chairman of Disney’s board.

Iger’s CEO contract was extended multiple times, until he officially announced he would retire in 2020. In early 2020, the board of directors named chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Bob Chapek as his replacement.

Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iger retained many CEO duties as he stayed on as chairman of the board. He officially retired on December 31, 2021.

Not even a full year later, on November 20, 2022, the board of directors fired Bob Chapek and brought Iger back as CEO. He signed a contract to stay on as CEO for two years. He and the board say they are committed to finding a replacement CEO. The new CEO could come from within the company or could be someone like Tom Staggs or Kevin Mayer, who were previously passed over for the position and left Disney. Iger’s contract could also be extended if a suitable CEO isn’t found.

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