Bob Iger is back at the helm of Disney after less than a year in retirement. Here’s how the media titan makes and spends his fortune.

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Iger is believed to be richer than the Disney inheritor, Abigail Disney.

  • Bob Iger is back in cost at Disney after less than a year of retirement.
  • The House of Mouse boss stepped down as CEO in February 2020 however remained govt chairman till December 2021, when he left Disney utterly.
  • He began his profession in a lowly place at ABC and spent over 40 years working at what’s now The Walt Disney Company. Iger was at the helm of the firm throughout Disney’s acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and most not too long ago, 21st Century Fox.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Less than a year after he retired, Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney in a stunning shakeup.

On Sunday, Disney announced that Iger would be returning as CEO to interchange Bob Chapek. Iger had stepped down as CEO in February 2020 however stayed on as govt chairman till December 2021, when he retired.

The change is efficient instantly, and Iger will stay CEO for 2 years, throughout which period he’ll work with the Board to “set the strategic direction for renewed growth” and establish a successor.

Iger has amassed a sizeable private fortune throughout his 15 years and counting as CEO. He made $47.5 million in total compensation in 2019 (with a base wage of $3 million), down from the $65.6 million he made in 2016, as chairman and CEO of Disney, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Iger began his leisure profession in 1974 as a studio supervisor at ABC and climbed up the present enterprise ranks to guide one of the strongest companies in the world. Iger recounted this journey in his memoir “The Ride of a Lifetime,” in which he chronicled how he went from making $150 a week doing “menial labor” on ABC exhibits to earning over $60 million a year operating The Walt Disney Company. 

Forbes reported in 2019 that Iger had a internet price of $690 million, which is regarded as increased than that of Disney heiress Abigail Disney, who mentioned that year that she’s worth about $120 million. Iger, in the meantime, was compensated $65.6 million in 2018 — which Forbes notes is 1,424 times what the common Disney worker makes.

Here’s what we find out about Iger’s life and rise, together with how he makes and spends his multimillion-dollar fortune:

After a short-lived retirement, Bob Iger is back at Disney.

bob iger star wars d23

The 71-year-old enterprise chief was CEO of Disney from 2005 to 2020. Iger stepped down as CEO that year however remained at Disney as govt chairman by way of the finish of 2021, when he retired and was replaced by Bob Chapek.

On Sunday, nonetheless, Disney made the stunning announcement that Iger is back to lead the company.

In 2019, he had a internet price of $690 million, per Forbes’ estimates.

bob iger

Forbes reported at the time that Iger’s internet price was really increased than that of Abigail Disney, the Disney heiress, who mentioned in 2019 that she was worth about $120 million.

In March 2020, it was announced that Iger would forgo his wage for the year, as Disney handled presumed multibillion-dollar losses as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. His base salary was $3 million in the previous fiscal year and he made $47.5 million in whole compensation.

Iger was born Robert Allen Iger in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in the small city of Oceanside, New York.

Bob Iger high school yearbook
Circled is Bob Iger, who graduated from Oceanside High School in 1969.

“I am very lucky,” Iger told Laurene Powell Jobs at The Atlantic Festival in Washington in 2019. “I was a lower middle class kid or middle class. My father had manic depression so he had trouble holding a job. I started as a $150-a-week employee at ABC 45 years ago and rose up to be CEO of this company. It is a great story, but it is not necessarily because I was extraordinary.”

He attended Ithaca College the place he graduated magna cum lade in 1973 with a diploma in Television and Radio.

bob iger walt disney company

At Ithaca College, Iger hosted a campus tv present referred to as “Campus Probe.” He graduated, originally wanting to be a news anchor, and briefly worked as a local weatherman in Ithaca, New York.

But he shortly realized that being a information anchor was not going to work out for him.

In 1974, Iger joined ABC, working in New York City. He wrote in his memoir “The Ride of a Lifetime” that he did “menial labor” for principally each present ABC produced out of Manhattan at the time.

Bob Iger

Iger wrote in his book that he acquired his first job at ABC as a result of of his uncle, who was in the hospital for eye surgical procedure. His uncle was in the room subsequent to somebody who claimed to be a prime govt at ABC, who mentioned he would give the youthful Iger a job.

Iger took the “top executive” up on his provide, although he shortly realized that the individual was not a “top executive” however as a substitute a lower-level one. Still, the individual ran a small division at ABC often called Production Services and was in a position to safe Iger an interview with the division.

At age 23, Iger was brought on as a “studio supervisor.”

But after a confrontation with his boss, Iger was virtually fired and compelled to search for a new job. Soon after, he moved over to a place at ABC Sports.

ABC Walt Disney

Iger has mentioned that one of his bosses accused Iger of spreading rumors about him, inflicting the younger Iger to virtually be fired.

“He called me in and accused me of spreading rumors about him,” Iger recalled at the UCLA Awards Gala in 2013, “when I knew the rumors happened to be based in fact. He told me I wasn’t promotable and I had two weeks to find another job somewhere in the company or I was gone. Fortunately, I was able to find another job in the company. They didn’t think I wasn’t promotable, I guess.”

He labored his approach up the ABC Sports ladder, working intently with Roone Arledge, “a relentless perfectionist,” who was the head of ABC Sports at the time.

Bob Iger Roone Arledge

Iger wrote in his ebook that Arledge was the one that taught him the mantra which might comply with Iger for the relaxation of his life: “Innovate or die.”

Iger went on to grow to be the vp of ABC Sports. ABC was later offered to Capital Cities Communications for $3.5 billion, in a deal finalized in 1986.

Bob Iger

Source: The Ride of a Lifetime, The Los Angeles Times

Shortly after, Tom Murphy and Dan Burke — the heads of Capital Cities/ABC — tapped Iger to grow to be the head of ABC Entertainment, and Iger moved to Los Angeles, California.

ABC Walt Disney
President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Burke (left) and Chair and Chief Executive Officer Tom Murphy (proper).

Iger wrote in his memoir that the fixed touring put pressure on his first marriage, to Kathleen Susan. Eventually, the two divorced. They have two daughters.

While at the helm of ABC Entertainment, Iger was the one who took a probability and put David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” on air.

Twin Peaks David Lynch

The critically-acclaimed collection was cancelled after two seasons, however Iger wrote in his ebook that the risk he took putting it on television caught the consideration of different famed administrators corresponding to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. 

Iger and Lucas then developed a show based on the Indiana Jones franchise, which was cancelled after two seasons. But, Iger wrote in his ebook, Lucas by no means forgot the threat Iger took on his present, and he remembered it years later when he decided to sell Lucasfilm to Disney.

In 1993, Iger turned president of ABC Network’s Television Group. When Burke retired, Iger was tapped to interchange him as president and chief working officer of Capital Cities/ABC.

Bob Iger

Source: C-SPAN

In 1995, Iger married journalist Willow Bay who, at the time, was a stand-in weekend information anchor on Good Morning America, and was poised to take over for then-full time host Joan Lunden.

Bob Iger Willow Bay

Iger and Bay became engaged in 1995. But after Disney agreed to buy Capital Cities/ABC that very same year, Iger had fast selections to make.

At that point, he wrote in his memoir, he had been commuting weekly to Los Angeles to fulfill his new Disney colleagues. He knew that after the acquisition was accredited, he and Bay wouldn’t have a lot time to honeymoon. So, they shortly married later that very same year.

“Willow and I also knew we’d have no chance for a honeymoon once the deal closed,” he wrote. “We radically shortened our engagement and got married in early October 1995.”

They are nonetheless married, residing in Brentwood, California, and have two children together.

In 1996, The Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion, and renamed it ABC, Inc.

Michael Eisner ABC Disney Merger
Then-chairman and CEO of Disney Michael Eisner (left) and then-chairman and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC Tom Murphy (proper) shake palms after a joint information convention the place the two introduced the $19 billion merger of their leisure and media corporations.

Iger wrote in his memoir that he closely thought-about strolling away from Disney at this level. But as part of the Disney-ABC merger, Iger agreed to run a media division at Disney for 5 years.

In 1999, Iger turned the president of Disney International, the enterprise division overseeing Disney’s international operations. A year later, he was tapped to grow to be the chief working officer of Disney, working immediately underneath then-CEO Michael Eisner.

Michael Eisner Bob Iger
Iger (left) with Eisner (proper).

Forbes reported that between 1994 and 1999, Eisner made $631 million. In the year 1997 alone, Eisner reportedly made extra than $550 million. Over the years, Eisner invested his Disney cash and became a billionaire by 2008 — maybe predicting the monetary path Iger is nicely on his method to following.

In the early 2000s, tensions started to brew between Eisner and Roy E. Disney, the inheritor of Disney. After Eisner stepped down, Iger turned the CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 2005.

Bob Iger

Iger wrote in his ebook that, regardless of being the COO and thereby second in command behind Eisner, his promotion to CEO was not a assure. If something, he wrote, many had associated him with the turbulence of Eisner’s era and wished an outsider for the job. Iger mentioned he campaigned for months till he was officially named CEO in 2005

Forbes reported in 2019 that in his first year as CEO, Iger made $22 million, a wage which didn’t embody the inventory choices price $2.9 million.

One of Iger’s first main strikes as CEO was to rebuild Disney’s relationship with Pixar. At the time, the relationship between Disney and Pixar was strained, and Iger felt the future of Disney Animation relied on repairing it.

Bob Iger Edwin Catmull
Edwin Catmull (left) president of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios with Iger (proper).

Before he formally turned the CEO of Disney, he referred to as to let Steve Jobs — who was the majority shareholder in Pixar — know he was being appointed CEO and shared his hope they may talk about working collectively in the future. From there, the two started to slowly work on repairing the fraught relationship between the two corporations. 

Iger wrote in his memoir that he felt Disney wanted Pixar to assist enter the future of animation. Pixar at the time was utilizing applied sciences to supply content material that had by no means been seen earlier than, Iger wrote in his ebook.

Iger wished Disney to be in on it — not simply as a distributor for the films, as their previous agreement had stated, however to really personal what Pixar was bringing to the desk.

In 2006, Disney introduced that it could purchase Pixar for $7.4 billion, making Jobs, the majority shareholder in Pixar at the time, the majority shareholder in Disney.

Steve Jobs Bob Iger

Iger wrote in his ebook that the two companies were able to come together after he reached out to Jobs to forge a friendship and tackle any points between the two corporations. 

Iger and Jobs would go on to have a lengthy friendship till Jobs passed away in 2011. A month after Jobs died, Iger joined the Apple Board, the place he remained until he stepped down in 2019 forward of launching Disney+.

In 2009, Iger led Disney’s acquisition of Marvel for $4 billion. This gave Disney entry to the Marvel comedian ebook library, which was the starting of the now multibillion-dollar, field workplace record-breaking Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Bob Iger Lupita Nyong'o
Iger and actress Lupita Nyong’o attend the premiere of Disney and Marvel’s “Black Panther.”

Iger wrote that half of the purpose Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter was keen to promote the firm was because Jobs called Perlmutter to “vouch for” Iger and praised how Iger had dealt with the Disney-Pixar merger.

Still seeking to assist Disney increase into the future, in 2012, Iger led Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. This gave Disney management of not simply the Star Wars franchise, but additionally the Indiana Jones franchise.

George Lucas Bob Iger

Iger mentioned that he knew Lucas was nervous to sell Lucasfim to Disney — principally as a result of the “Star Wars” creator knew he can be promoting his legacy together with it. But ultimately, Lucas warmed as much as the thought.

Lucas enlisted Kathleen Kennedy to lead Lucasfilm right before the company was sold to Disney. The first Star Wars movie made with out Lucas was launched a few years later, in 2015 — “The Force Awakens,” directed by J.J Abrams.

The firm’s acquisition spree continued in 2018, when Disney agreed to purchase twenty first Century Fox. At the time, Fox was owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch who, after the sale, turned one of the largest shareholders in Disney.

Murdoch family
Murdoch with his sons Lachlan Murdoch (left) and James Murdoch (proper) arrives at St. Bride’s Church for a service to have a good time his marriage to Jerry Hall.

Forbes reported in 2019 that, if Murdoch have been to money in all inventory out there to him from the Disney deal, he’d personal about $10.5 billion price of Disney inventory. In addition, Variety reported that collectively, the Murdoch members of the family have been “the largest individual shareholders in Disney.”

Iger wrote in his memoir that Murdoch promoting the firm he had constructed from scratch was an indicator that the “disruption” threatening the leisure business was now inevitable. 

“As [Rupert Murdoch] pondered the future of his company in such a disrupted world, he concluded the smartest thing to do was to sell and give his shareholders and his family a chance to convert its 21st Century Fox stock into Disney stock, believing we were better positioned to withstand the change and, combined, we’d be even stronger,” Iger wrote in his ebook. 

In March 2019, the merger between twenty first Century Fox and Disney was accomplished, with a price ticket of $71.3 billion. This transfer made Disney the second-largest media firm in the world, Forbes reported.

Bob Iger Peter Rice
Peter Rice (left), Chairman of Walt Disney Television and former president of twenty first Century Fox, and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group with Iger (proper).

Source: Forbes, Business Insider

He was additionally named Time’s businessperson of the year for 2019.

Bob Iger

“In a year when the tide has shifted against Big Business, Big Media and Big Tech, Iger has transformed his enormous media company into a gargantuan media and tech business while ensuring that the Walt Disney Co.’s products remain widely beloved,” Belinda Luscombe wrote in Time’s profile of him. “But for now, for just this moment, Iger is unassailable. He’s transformed his company from a stuffy media doyen into a sexy cultural force.”

In 2020, Iger — together with Seth MacFarlane and Cicely Tyson, amongst a number of others — was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

bob iger disney
Robert Iger arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Source: The Walt Disney Company

In February 2020, Disney introduced that Bob Iger would step down as CEO and assume the position of govt chairman till his contract expired on December 31, 2021.

Bob Iger

Iger was replaced by Bob Chapek, former chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Product. Iger would forgo his whole wage for the year, and Chapek would similarly take a 50% salary cut amid potential multibillion-dollar income losses as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, Business Insider’s Ashley Rodriguez reported.

Iger is recognized amongst friends for being a very type chief and has been praised by his contemporaries for the approach he has dealt with the mergers of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.

bob iger mickey mouse

During his years as CEO, Iger grew Disney’s income 335% to $260 billion, Business Insider reported.

Forbes also reports that underneath Iger, Disney created extra than 70,000 new jobs. 

“Literally, I have never heard one person say a bad thing about him and I have never seen him be mean,” billionaire David Geffen told The New York Times in a profile on Iger. “To be honorable, decent, smart, successful, and a terrific guy is unusual anywhere. But it is most unusual in the entertainment business. He’s in a category of one.”

Iger’s personal rising fortune has paralleled the rise in Disney’s worth over the years he is been at the helm.

Bob Iger Mickey Drew Angerer Getty final

In 2019, Forbes reported that Iger’s internet price was a staggering $690 million, making him richer than the present Disney inheritor, Abigail Disney, who has mentioned she’s worth about $120 million.

Forbes reported that that Iger’s fortune is break up between his Disney shares “and cash or other investment from sales of Disney shares over the decades.”

According to Forbes, Iger was compensated $65.6 million in 2018, which is 1,424 occasions the common Disney worker’s wage. He had been given one other $26.3 million in inventory after he efficiently closed the Disney-Fox merger and for agreeing to increase his contract till 2021. His preliminary compensation in 2018 was $39.3 million (not together with inventory rewards).

In April 2019, Abigail Disney publicly criticized Iger’s high pay on Twitter and later wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post elaborating on her thoughts

“I’m not arguing that Iger and others do not deserve bonuses. They do,” Disney wrote. “They have led the company brilliantly. I am saying that the people who contribute to its success also deserve a share of the profits they have helped make happen.”

As Iger is a very non-public individual, not a lot is recognized about his spending.

Bob Iger Willow Bay

He and his spouse purchased a house in Brentwood, California, in 2006 from actress Michelle Pfeiffer for about $19 million, the Orlando Sentinel reported that year.

The house is 7,500 sq. toes and has 5 bedrooms with 9 loos, with a visitor home, a tennis courtroom, and a pool. As of a 2018 interview with Vogue, Iger was nonetheless residing in Brentwood with his spouse and their two kids.

The Igers additionally beforehand owned an residence on the Upper East Side of New York City. The property offered in 2018 for $18.75 million, Business Insider reported.

Bob Iger apartment
An inside shot of Iger’s one-time Manhattan digs.

The Igers’ former home has a library, lounge views of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, and 4 bedrooms, together with one main bedroom with two loos and a walk-in closet.

Iger spends time — and probably cash — sustaining his psychological and bodily well being, about which he is notoriously rigorous. He instructed The New York Times that he wakes up at 4:15 each morning and would not contact his telephone till he is completed with his morning train routine.

Bob Iger

Iger has additionally mentioned that he doesn’t eat carbs unless it’s pizza, recalling that in his highschool years, he worked at his local Pizza Hut.

When he is “off the clock,” he travels. Iger is a common attendee at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. The media convention is a hub for leisure and tech moguls.

Willow Bay Bob Iger
Iger and his spouse at the 2014 Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference.

Variety reports that in 2019, Iger attended the convention together with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Shari Redstone, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, and even former Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper.

Source: Business Insider

In 2019, Iger and his spouse dedicated $1 million to launch the Iger-Bay Endowed Scholarship at Iger’s alma mater, Ithaca College. The scholarship goals to spice up range in the media business.

Bob Iger Willow Bay

The scholarship was funded by way of the proceeds from Iger’s memoir.

Iger additionally spends some of his fortune on holidays. Beyond their enterprise dealings associated to Disney and Pixar, Iger was additionally shut private mates with Jobs and has mentioned the two would trip collectively in close by resorts in Hawaii.

steve jobs bob iger 2006

“We vacationed at adjacent Hawaiian hotels a few times and would meet and take long walks on the beach, talking about our wives and kids, about music, about Apple and Disney and the things we might still do together,” he wrote in his ebook. “You don’t expect to develop such close friendships late in life, but when I think back on my time as CEO — at the things I’m most grateful for and surprised by — my relationship with Steve is one of them.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Iger has been seen on billionaire David Geffen’s yacht. In August 2017, Iger was seen on the yacht with Winfrey, Diane von Furstenberg, and Diane Sawyer.

Bob Iger David Geffen
Iger (left) with David Geffen (proper).

Geffen owns a megayacht, recognized to be a widespread hang-out spot for celebrities and fellow billionaires, together with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, throughout the summer season months, as seen on his Instagram web page.

As previously reported by Business Insider, the yacht is price $590 million.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

In his private life, Iger has a set of A-list mates who’ve been recognized to rave about him. One of these mates is media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who has mentioned that if Iger have been to run for president, she wouldn’t simply vote for him however eagerly marketing campaign on his behalf.

Bob Iger Oprah

“I’ll tell you the truth, this is not really where I intended to be tonight,” Winfrey said at the Centennial Awards, where Iger was being honored, in 2019. “I was hoping that by this time in early fall, I would be knocking on doors in Des Moines, wearing an ‘Iger 2020’ T-shirt. Because I really do believe that Bob Iger’s guidance and decency is exactly what the country needs right now.”

Iger is additionally near Jeffrey Katzenberg, cofounder of Dreamworks and former chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

Bob Iger Jeffrey katzenberg

After Comcast purchased Dreamworks in 2016 for $3.8 billion, Katzenberg’s net worth rose to $900 million

Iger and Katzenberg have been mates for years, and Katzenberg is amongst the group of individuals who tried to encourage the Disney CEO to run for president.

“No matter how much I begged Bob,” Katzenberg said while presenting the Simon Wiesenthal Center Humanitarian Award to Iger in 2019. “He just wasn’t willing to run for president of the United States.”

In his memoir, Iger admitted that he as soon as thought-about operating for president, however finally determined in opposition to it.

Bob Iger

“I think the Democratic Party would brand me as just another rich guy who’s out of touch with America who doesn’t have any sense for what’s good for the plight of the people,” he told The New York Times in a 2019 profile.

Despite many individuals — including some major Hollywood players — urging him to run for president in late 2019, Iger publicly remained agency that he had no plans to pursue a presidential marketing campaign.

Iger has additionally spent his free time concerned in politics in the previous. Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, Iger joined Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.

Bob Iger

Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum was a enterprise council created to listen to the views of completely different leaders on how to enhance job progress in the US. 

But Iger stepped down from the position in 2017 after Trump introduced the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Variety reported.

Bob Iger

Iger announced his resignation from the council in a tweet stating: “As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #Paris Agreement withdrawal.” 

The council, which has now completely disbanded, additionally included JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and Stephen A. Schwarzman, the cofounder of non-public fairness agency Blackstone.

In September 2019, nonetheless, Iger did define what would have been the central themes of his marketing campaign, had he determined to run.

Bob Iger

“America is gravely in need of optimism, of looking at the future and believing that so many things are going to be all right, or that we as a nation can attack some of the most critical problems of our day,” Iger said at The Atlantic Festival in Washington in 2019. “And that could be the environment, that could be income disparity, that could be the technology’s impact on the world from a disruption perspective. It could be the cost of education, availability of affordable housing, healthcare. You name it.”

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