Robert Iger Named CEO of Disney

Posted Sunday, March 13, 2005 11:16 PM | Contributed by WoodFan

Walt Disney Co.'s board on Sunday named company president Robert Iger to succeed Michael Eisner as chief executive of the film, television and theme park company, effective Sept. 30, 2005. Eisner, who previously had indicated he would stay until his contract ended in Sept. 2006, said in a letter that he would retire as CEO in September and remain on the board until the 2006 annual meeting.

Read more from Reuters via CNN.

Monday, March 14, 2005 5:07 AM
na na naa naa, hey heeey hey, goodbye..

Too bad he's just a puppet figure who has Eisners hand stuck straight up his. sorry.. forgot it's a family site but if you've ever played with a puppet in your childhood. You should have a pretty good idea.

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Monday, March 14, 2005 8:09 AM
With Eisner's boy taking over as well as the fact that Disney canned their entire traditional animation wing a year ago and their taking forever to add anything to their parks I still give Disney 10-20 years before they're in bankruptcy and split up and sold off.
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Monday, March 14, 2005 8:47 AM
Jeff's avatar You've got to be kidding. What do you base that on?
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Monday, March 14, 2005 8:59 AM
Quick. Name the tv network that has been the most turned around, talked about, received all the buzz, etc for the past two years.

ABC.

Where does Iger come from? ABC.

Disney's success in the future will largely rely on the media end of their business. The parks will continue to be cash cows. The folks running the parks have been in the business for generations. So long as they continue to grow I have no concern about that.

The synergy in Disney is mindboggling. Last night on ABC you have Extreme Makeover where Mickey and the VoluntEars help a child redo a children's cancer hospital while Ty and the crew rebuild a house. Last week the muppets visited the construction site.

Things are clicking over there at ABC and Iger is a big part of the reason why. Don't discount him just because Eisner happens to support him. And, don't discount the success at Disney under Eisner.

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Monday, March 14, 2005 9:23 AM
I admit that I was originally discounting Iger because he worked under Eisner but after doing some research, I really think that this guy stands a chance to do something when allowed to run the company without Uncle Mikey looking over his shoulders. After being a last-place network for years, ABC is showing signs of recovering and that is certainly an accomplishment. Hopefully Lost and Desperate Housewives are only the tip of the iceberg.

Disney in bankrupcy? I doubt it. Not going to happen.

Hopefully Iger will strengthen the company as a whole and prevent another takeover bid that would have surely split the company apart. Thanfully, the person that put the company in jeopardy last year is now FINALLY on his way out the door.

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Monday, March 14, 2005 9:25 AM
Iger is also credited with being the driving force that built ESPN into what it is today.

I also have a feeling that Iger will quickly do what he can to shed his image as Eisner's protoge. In fact, I have to wonder if Eisner's earlier than expected departure was a condition of Iger taking the job.

While the Disneyana crowd has been predicting gloom & doom for the company over the last few years, the truth is that Disney is financially very strong. Just look at their FY 2004 results as compared to Viacom, Time Warner, and NewsCorp. As I heard one analyst put it a little while ago, "this is not a broken company."

While I'm certainly no fan of Eisner personally (I think the guy could really benefit from some counseling...), let's not negate the success of the company under his leadership, and let's not just immediately write off Iger because he happens to be an inside guy...

I still highly recommend "Disney War" by James Stewart. It's a fascinating book.

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Monday, March 14, 2005 9:36 AM
It is a fascinating book. I can't put the thing down!

Aren't most Disney diehards ALWAYS predicting doom & gloom?

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Monday, March 14, 2005 10:06 AM
Jeff's avatar They sure are. Makes you wonder how much time they actually spend at "the happiest place on earth!" :)
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Monday, March 14, 2005 10:23 AM
They're certainly not the happiest people on earth. They remind me of sports fans who go to every home game and do nothing but complain about how much their team sucks, even if they're winning.
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Monday, March 14, 2005 11:33 AM
I think being CEO of Disney would be one of the hardest jobs in the world (not that I'd turn it down) due to the fanatical, emotional attachment that so many people have to the company. Disney characters have been a major part of nearly everyone's childhoods for the past 70 years. I'm willing to bet that nearly everyone you ask could tell you about some fond memory from childhood related to either Disney movies or the parks that was a "magical" moment for them. (Mine would be "Herbie Rides Again"...probably also the reason I've owned three VW's in a row!)

Unfortunately, this compulsive "love" can sometimes manifest itself by turning into a kind of anger because the reality doesn't match their perception of the Disney fantasy. It's what makes otherwise rational people predict the Disney company will implode into bankruptcy, even when the company is enjoying record cash flow, and make Disney-philes threaten hunger strikes when somebody mentions removing a bench or potted plant at Disneyland.

It's really a fascinating blend of emotion and business that I don't think can compare to any other company in the world... It would make some psychology grad student a great thesis topic! :-)*** This post was edited by JZarley 3/14/2005 11:34:30 AM ****** This post was edited by JZarley 3/14/2005 11:41:26 AM ***

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Monday, March 14, 2005 1:05 PM
janfrederick's avatar I saw several disney freak this weekend walking around with about 90 pounds of pins and scowles on their faces! Can you imagine. I think it's a form of OCD...but I digress. I think the new blood will be good for the company no matter how close he was to Eisner.
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Monday, March 14, 2005 1:27 PM
Coaster enthusiasts aren't exactly "normal" in the world of fandom. Let's get that straight.

JZarley made some excellent points. One decision to close a ride in order to make room for another could lead to a national campaign on the part of fans (see Mr. Toad's Wild Ride). Not too mention the sheer fascination people have with the company and it's history.

That may be one reason why that woman from ebay took her name out of the hat. Talk about a pressure cooker.

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Monday, March 14, 2005 1:50 PM
janfrederick's avatar Actually, the fanatics seemed to be well represented. I'd say a good 20% of the folks walking around had pins, lanyards, the whole 9 yards...so you do make a good point.

Psychology thesis is right!

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Monday, March 14, 2005 4:55 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Compared to Disney fanatics coaster enthusiasts seem normal! ;)

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Monday, March 14, 2005 9:35 PM
Disney is one of the few companies I really can't see my generation killing. 15 years there won't be a car or computer made in America.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:11 AM
The combination of ABC faultering but now rebounding nicely, and the hiring of Paul Pressler first to run Disneyland then the entire theme park chain, and Cynthia Harriss taking his place in Anaheim was Eisner's downfall. Under Pressler/Harriss the original Disneyland was badly operated and looked shabby. Under Matt Quimet who now runs Disneyland the park looks as good or better tha it did opening day in 1955. Jay Raslo the new head of Disney Parks and Attractions has also made a difference coming from Disneyland Paris. It was Matt who was determined to get Space Mountain opened BEFORE July 17th instead of the Pressler/Harriss date of November of this year. Word is Matt has more up his sleves. If Eisner fixed ABC a few years ago and not let the origional Disneyland go down hill, he would still be running Disney.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 9:04 AM
If Eisner had not purchased ABC years ago, I think he'd have a better shot of staying at Disney. It seems that most CEOs have one BIG mistake on their record and the purchase of ABC is likely his.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 9:19 AM
The Mole's avatar ABC is fine Rob, it's Fox Family that screwed him over, and his stupid mistake by taking tax cuts and moving Euro Disney to Paris. Those two mistakes have cause Disney BILLIONS of dollars. ABC, while it has been in a slump the past 3 years, was HUGE before for a long time, and HUGE now!

Personally, I hope that Iger green lights some new rides when he takes over in October. 20k lagoon replacement anyone?

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005 1:54 AM
The Fox Family Channel I saw on a website cost Disney a BILLION dollars in total. I was unaware Euro Disneyland was moved to Paris. Where was the origional site for the park?
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