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Bob Iger: Leadership, Disney And Acquisitions

An interview with media mogul and CEO of Disney, Bob Iger. In this interview, Bob discusses how he leads at Disney and why he chose to make certain acquisitions. Bob also talks about the power of branding and how he became CEO of Disney.

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Bob Iger
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

Bob Iger: Leadership, Disney And Acquisitions

Video Segments:

0:00 Introduction

0:21 Getting started in media?

6:22 Takeaways from your journey?

8:13 How did you balance preserving the history of Disney with making it your own?

10:35 Where do you think the brand is now?

12:47 What did you learn from Steve Jobs?

15:59 How did you think about acquisitions?

18:54 Black Panther?

22:20 What's next for Bob Iger?

Transcript

Well I'll talk I'll talk about the beginning but one thing that it's interesting to me because I often are asked to reflect on what is now a career that's 45 years long 44 years at ABC and Disney and to many people it seems like a straight line started here and you want to hear it isn't that way at all. Yes it was straight in the sense that I stayed pretty much at one company but there were many many twists and turns and most of them somewhat unpredictable in nature so I'm where I am today. Not really because of a plan but because of a lot of things. Changes in the business change in the company that I worked for my own personal growth my commitment to working hard my passion for the business which are fueled in many respects my success. But I started out. I went to college specifically to learn about television. I was interested in high school. I wanted to be a news anchorman and I wanted to prepare myself in college to him to do that which meant majoring in. Then it was called television and radio I was as ready as a fan so old and I did well in school. I got introduced to some people that turned out to be very valuable to me longer term but I didn't know it then.

So Rod Serling who created a program called Twilight Zone right who is from upstate New York was an adjunct professor of television writing and directing. I would learn television writing and directing from him back then and the lessons that he taught me. Little did I know of serving me well today particularly when it comes to working with movie directors and creators of television shows and giving them feedback and knowing what to look for. But I started out wanting to be a newscaster. I became a weatherman which was the first job I could grab at a college. I quickly discovered that I was not that good. I don't know whether it was a complete lack of predicting the weather or kind of looking to tell others. Well the good news about them being a weather man in upstate New York isn't no such thing as predicting right. Yes. So I certainly usually bad that I taught you taught me how to give people bad news. I just wasn't. My presentation was lacking. I looked at this guy on TV and it didn't seem like he was going to end up with a career that I would be able to do that I feel proud or fulfilled with. And so I quickly made a change and I got a job in production at ABC in 1974 and working on soap operas and game shows and a Frank Sinatra concert in Madison Square Garden and I had a boss who told me that I was an promotable at one point. Not very I was not very fun. What did you mean by that. Because that's a legendary a legendary story that is possible. You were an promotable yes.

You told me I wasn't promotable and I had two weeks to find the job of the company or I was going to fire me. And I found another job with a company that ABC Sports which saved me. And I worked my way up at ABC Sports and 13 jobs in 13 years which was great. Basically just kept getting promoted during a very heady time at ABC with coverage of multiple Olympic Games and learned a tremendous amount about the business of sports television then and we have been bought by a company called Capital Cities ABC and the gentleman who ran that company saw me a lot of potential and they ultimately took me out of sports and sent me to California and ABC Primetime efforts so dramas and comedies and the like. Even though I had never read a script in my life and I did fairly well there. Actually I got very lucky with some very high quality programs are ahead of their time like Twin Peaks and some lowbrow but popular shows like America's Funniest Home Videos on television. So I'm to blame. Was that a tough decision. It was very tough. I just hope that it doesn't end up in my obituary. You know I'd much rather something a little bit higher brow Bob Iger who put America's funniest on yes passed away today at 120. Exactly. George Lucas will get Star Wars America's funniest. So anyway I did that for four years and they promoted me to president of ABC. I came back to New York when I became president of the company as president and CEO.

And then we were bought by Disney in 1995 and that then brought me into Disney as head of Disney TV and head of International and named CEO and president of Disney in 2000 and CEO in 2005. So it's kind of that that's the that's it. It's a robot. All these jobs are what you are going along and you were doing these different things you know all of that prepares you for the big job what is some of the big takeaways you're going down the road you're having these different jobs some good experiences some bad experiences you know what. What do you as you look back now. What were the seminal things that have really helped you. Well you nailed something every single job I had along the way prepared me for the job I have today. Even though I didn't really know that and nor did I ever hated. Yes. Yeah. Little bit yes sir.

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