Bob Iger served as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company for the past 15 years. Now, as he prepares to step out of his role as Chairman and away from Disney, he is diving into his time with the company and discussing what he believes to have been the best moves made on his part when it comes to acquisitions.
During the latest “Squawk on the Street” with CNBC’s David Faber, Bob Iger spoke about all of the acquisitions he has made, including heavy hitters such as Marvel and Lucasfilm, and then spoke out on which he believed was the best. Although Marvel and Star Wars account for the top 4 highest-grossing films for a domestic opening weekend, with Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) entering the second place position, neither of those companies are seen as the best move for Iger.
In 2005, Iger acquired Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion, and it seems he has not looked back since. Iger noted:
“I’m proud of a lot of the decisions that were made. Certainly, the acquisitions — I’d say of all of them — Pixar, because it was the first. And it put us on the path to achieving what I wanted to achieve, which is scale when it comes to storytelling. That was probably the best.”
When Iger made the purchase, not everyone was sold on the idea, but now, many cannot imagine a world where Disney does not own Pixar. Prior to Disney’s ownership, Pixar had made around $4+ billion, but since the purchase has made $14.7 billion in sales at the global box office, with around $11.5 billion of that being made after Disney’s acquisition.
“What I wanted to do more than anything is, I wanted to send a signal to everybody at Disney that it was a new day, that we were more open-minded about expansion, in particular about partnerships. That creativity was the most important strategy for the company. And Pixar, at that point, exemplified original storytelling and quality and creativity at in its highest form.”
Pixar has also found its way into the Disney Parks, much like Marvel with Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure (and soon Walt Disney Studios in Disneyland Paris), and Lucasfilm with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and soon to be Disneyland Pairs. There are a ton of Pixar additions at Parks all across the globe, and at Disneyland, Resort Guests can enjoy Pixar Pier, an entirely themed land to the IP. In Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the east coast, Toy Story Land leaves Guests with a massive smile on their face! And that is just naming a small amount of the Pixar touches at the Disney Parks.
Related: Bob Iger Talks “Life After Disney”
Bob Iger’s successor Bob Chapek has been in the Disney media circuit heavily this week after a recent report from CNBC stated that one executive admitted there are “internal wagers at Disney about Iger returning” as CEO. This news comes after the backlash that current CEO Bob Chapek has received these last two years. That being said, we have discussed how Iger has announced he will not be returning to the company and is looking to start off with a “blank canvas” after being so dedicated to Disney for so long.
Bob Chapek, unfortunately, took the torch during a difficult time where the pandemic has caused a lot of financial constraints for the company, which many Guests and fans have been vocally unhappy about, blaming the new CEO for Disney’s shortcomings.
Which of Bob Iger’s acquisitions are you most happy about? Let us know in the comments below!
Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!