The news that Disney boss Bob Iger is resigning as the company’s CEO has taken the world of cinema by surprise.
Since becoming CEO in 2005, Iger has led the company through several successful acquisitions and the launch of the Disney + streaming service.
Considered by many to be the most powerful man in Hollywood, Iger had previously announced plans to retire only to push back his departure date.
Iger will remain executive chairman of Disney until the end of 2021.
In a statement, the company said that Iger would lead its “creative efforts” while ensuring “a smooth and successful transition”.
Bob Chapek, who joined Disney in 1993 and previously headed the company’s parks and products division, has been named the company’s new CEO.
- Disney boss Bob Iger steps down as CEO
During Iger’s tenure as CEO, Disney took over the animation studio Pixar, the comic book company Marvel, the initiator of Star Wars LucasFilm and the 21st Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch.
These acquisitions, combined with the launch of Disney +, the opening of amusement parks and other factors, saw the company’s market value multiplied by five.
Of the 20 most profitable films of 2010, 13 were Disney releases. Three of these titles brought in more than $ 2 billion (£ 1.54 billion) worldwide.
The most lucrative of the three, superheroes, superheroes Avengers: Endgame, surpassed the 2009 avatar in July 2019 to become the most profitable film of all time.
- Avengers overtake Avatar at all-time box office
Last year, Iger published a memoir, The Ride of a Lifetime, in which he wrote about the lessons he had learned from his 15 years as CEO of Disney.
While promoting his book, he gave his only interview in the UK to BBC editor Amol Rajan, where he reflected on his experiences and accomplishments.
“It would be nice to know it’s going to be just as good, because I probably would have been just a little more relaxed,” he mused when asked what advice he would offer his young person. .
“But then again, if I had been a little more relaxed, I probably wouldn’t have worked as hard and it might not have turned out. So because you can’t go back and do it anyway way, I wouldn’t change a thing. “
The 69-year-old also expressed pride in the number of jobs he said had been created in Disney during his tenure as CEO.
“I am proud of our efforts for our employees – for actors as we call them – around the world. There are now about 230,000 of them,” he said.
“There are tens of thousands today, by the way, compared to when I got the job. So we created a huge number of jobs. And for hourly workers. ”
“I am proud of their remuneration. I am proud of the benefits we have given them. I am proud of the opportunities we have created for them.
“There has been tremendous upward mobility in our business by the very people who start from the bottom – I am one of them – and allow themselves not only to progress, but also to progress and earn more.”
In other departments, however, Iger acknowledged that mistakes had been made.
“I have said publicly that I think we have made and released too many Star Wars movies in a short period of time,” he told Amol Rajan.
“I didn’t say they were disappointing in any way. I didn’t say I was disappointed with their performance.
“I just think there is something so special in a Star Wars movie, and less is more.
“The good thing about Star Wars is that the future is limitless in terms of where we can go, the stories we can tell and the characters we can present to people,” Iger said in a statement. a subsequent visit to the UK for the European premiere of the latest Star Wars film.
The event of last December also revealed that his favorite character in the long saga of science fiction films was Chewbacca the Wookiee.
“I have always been a fan of” Chewie, “” he told Colin Paterson of the BBC. “I don’t understand a word he says, but it always makes me laugh.”
Iger’s departure would no doubt have seen the character emit one of his sad groans.
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