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Iger in June 2013
|Born||Robert Allen Iger|
February 10, 1951
Oceanside, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Ithaca College|
|Employer||The Walt Disney Company|
|Title||Chairman and CEO|
Board member of
|Spouse(s)||Susan (divorced; 2 children)|
Willow Bay (1995-present; 2 children)
|Parents||Arthur L. & Mimi Iger|
Robert Allen "Bob" Iger (born February 10, 1951) is an American businessman and the current chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. He was named president of Disney in 2000, and later succeeded Michael Eisner as chief executive in 2005, after a successful effort by Roy E. Disney to shake-up the management of the company. Iger oversaw the acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios in 2006, following a period of strained relations with the animation studio. He also led the company to acquire Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012, further broadening Disney's intellectual property franchises.
Iger was born to a Jewish family in Long Island, New York. His father Arthur was a World War II veteran, served as the executive vice president and general manager of the Greenvale Marketing Corporation, and also as a professor of advertising and public relations. His mother Mimi worked at Boardman Junior High School in Oceanside, New York.
Iger completed his undergraduate studies at Ithaca College where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television & Radio from Ithaca's Roy H. Park School of Communications. He then began his career as a weatherman for a local television station. He joined the American Broadcasting Company in 1974 and gradually rose through its ranks. Iger was instrumental in convincing ABC to pick up David Lynch's offbeat but influentialTwin Peaks. He served as president of the ABC Network Television Group from 1993–94, and then was named president and chief operating officer of ABC's corporate parent, Capital Cities/ABC. In 1996, The Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities/ABC and renamed it ABC, Inc., where Iger remained president until 1999.
The Walt Disney Company
On February 25, 1999, Disney named Iger president of Walt Disney International, the business unit that oversees Disney's international operations, as well as chairman of the ABC Group. Disney called the change a promotion for Iger. But the company's insistence was initially viewed with skepticism, as some thought Iger was merely being removed from day-to-day authority at ABC since ABC had been struggling.
Disney named Iger its president and chief operating officer on January 24, 2000, making him the company's number two executive under Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner. The company had been without a separate president since Eisner assumed the role following the departure of Michael Ovitz in 1997, after sixteen months at Disney.
On March 13, 2005, Disney announced that Bob Iger would succeed Michael Eisner as chief executive officer (CEO). On March 26, Iger reassigned Peter Murphy, the company's chief strategic officer, and pledged to disband the company's strategic planning division. Iger also vowed to restore much of the decision-making authority that the division had assumed to the company's individual business units.
The company reconciled with former board members Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold, who in July 2005 dropped their "Save Disney" campaign and agreed to work with Iger. In the process, Roy Disney was named a director emeritus and consultant.
On January 24, 2006, Disney announced it would acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion in an all-stock transaction. The merger installed animator John Lasseter as chief creative officer of the Disney/Pixar animation studios and principal creative advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, the division that designs theme park attractions. It also made Steve Jobs Disney's top shareholder with seven percent of outstanding shares, and gave him a new seat on Disney's board of directors. In the same year, he also re-acquired the rights to Walt Disney's first star Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from NBCUniversal by releasing sportscaster Al Michaels from ABC Sports to NBC Sports.
Roy E. Disney, who had been critical of Iger for his role as Eisner's deputy, issued this statement:
Iger has cited international expansion, technological innovation and a renewed focus on traditional animation as the company's top strategic priorities. On October 7, 2011, Disney announced that Iger would become chairman following John Pepper's retirement from the board in March 2012.
On Tuesday November 15, 2011, Apple, Inc., now led by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook after Steve Jobs's death, named Iger as a Director and named Genentech Chairman Arthur Levinson, an Apple board member with a past membership on rival Google's board, as Jobs's replacement in the role of non-executive Chairman; both will serve on Apple's Audit Committee (Jobs had worked with Iger in the Pixar acquisition- making Jobs Disney's largest shareholder, and Iger had let ABC shows become available on iTunes).
While CEO of Walt Disney in 2009, Iger earned total compensation of $29,028,362, which included a base salary of $2,038,462, a cash bonus of $9,260,000, stock awards of $6,336,509 and option awards of $8,308,647. Iger earned a $13.5 million bonus in 2010, which was a 45.4% increase from 2009. He made $34.3M in 2013, with his cash bonus down 14.7% from the previous year.
Iger has been married twice. His first marriage to Kathleen Susan Iger ended in divorce. They had two children: Kathleen Pamela Iger and Amanda Iger. In 2005, Kathleen Pamela married Jarrod Alan Cushing in a civil ceremony at the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Rhode Island.
In 1995, he married journalist Willow Bay in an interfaith Jewish and Roman Catholic service in Bridgehampton, New York. They have two children, Robert Maxwell "Max" Iger, and William Iger.
In June 2012, Steven Spielberg, Founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, presented Iger with the Institute’s highest honor, the Ambassador for Humanity Award. Iger was recognized for his support of the Institute’s work, his longtime philanthropy, and his leadership role in corporate citizenship.