Disney CEO Bob Iger met with fellow company leaders on Tuesday to calm nerves about his comments regarding the potential sale of TV assets.
Iger’s TV Comments
During an interview with David Faber on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Iger agreed with Faber that ABC “may not be core” to The Walt Disney Company. He said they have to be “open-minded” to potentially selling their TV assets, a comment that basically put them on the market.
Sources told CNN Business‘s Oliver Darcy that employees of the Disney General Entertainment Content division had “high anxiety” about the remarks and felt Iger had left them “in the dark.” Darcy noted that there have been no company-wide memos or town halls since Iger’s interview.
One of Darcy’s sources said Iger told senior leaders at the Tuesday meeting that the content created by Disney’s TV teams is “incredibly valuable to our business.”
Regarding ABC News specifically, Iger said, “I’m ridiculously passionate about news. It’s important to this company. We need to figure out how it makes the transition into streaming. And I happen to believe we will endure. It’s too good, it’s too important, and it’s really fun.”
The CEO reportedly answered various questions from leaders. A Disney insider said, however, that his answers were “the usual jewel in the crown stuff — except now we know that he’s selling the jewel.”
“It’s great to say he loves the jewel,” they continued. “It’s great to say that the jewel is important. It’s great to say that the jewel is fun. But he has revealed the truth: he wants to get the highest price he can for the jewel because he can’t afford it anymore.”
It’s also been rumored that Iger could sell the entire Walt Disney Company to Apple and he is trying to offload their streaming services in India.
Bob Iger & Disney
Iger got his start at ABC back in 1974, well before it was acquired by Disney. He performed menial labor on TV sets and worked his way up through the ranks. He was named head of ABC Entertainment in 1989. 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 acquired ABC in 1995, they acquired Iger and he worked his way up to CEO of the entire company over the next decade, finally landing the top spot in 2005 after Michael Eisner was ousted. Iger was CEO until retiring in 2020, but returned to the position in November 2022 after Bob Chapek was also ousted.
The Walt Disney Company Board has extended Iger’s contract to 2026.
What do you think of Iger’s recent comments? Let us know in the comments.