Bob Iger cites Steve Jobs as an inspiration for his decision to return as Disney’s CEO

Home » Bob Iger cites Steve Jobs as an inspiration for his decision to return as Disney’s CEO
Bob Iger cites Steve Jobs as an inspiration for his decision to return as Disney's CEO

Bob Iger made the surprise decision to return to his post as Disney’s CEO last year, after parting with the company towards the end of 2021. In a new profile with Time, Iger discussed that decision and pointed to Steve Jobs as one of his inspirations for returning to Disney.

Iger announced his initial decision to step down from his role as Disney’s CEO in at the beginning of 2020, with the Disney board enlisting Bob Chapek to take over. Iger ended up staying with Disney as the executive chairman of the board to help guide the company through the COVID-19 pandemic. He stepped down completely on December 31, 2021.

Just eleven months later, however, Chapek was ousted by Disney’s board of directors, who enlisted Iger to be his replacement and once again serve as Disney CEO in November 2022. As it stands right now, Iger has agreed to serve as Disney’s CEO for two years and will help the company search for a successor. One of his first tasks what shooting down the never-ending rumor about Disney merging with Apple.

This decision, according to the new profile with Time, was at least partly inspired by when Steve Jobs returned to Apple after Apple acquired NeXT in 1997.

There are, of course, a number of differences between Iger’s return to Disney and when Jobs returned to Apple – as Iger acknowledges in the interview. Still, he says that Jobs is the “person he thinks of most” when he looks at his circumstances at Disney.

“The person that I think most of, that I was fortunate enough to have observed very closely, is Steve Jobs. He was brought back to a company that he had founded—very different circumstances. But speaking with him when I did, and reflecting on what his experiences were—I’ve taken a lot from that.

One is when you are brought back, and you agree to come back, you have to do so with unbelievable enthusiasm, and not an ounce of hesitation. And then you have to know very quickly what it is you’re expected to accomplish and what it is you can accomplish. And then go at it with incredible resolve, incredible zeal, and incredible energy.”

As you might recall, Iger also served on Apple’s board of directors for eight years, stepping down in 2019 after the company entered the streaming media space with Apple TV+.

Iger’s full profile with Time is well worth a read. The Disney CEO goes in-depth on his current role at the company, the future, and much more.

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