Bob Iger steps down as CEO of Disney



There's news today that Bob Eiger is stepping down immediately as CEO of the Walt Disney company to make room for his successor and that is Bob JPEG who runs Disney's theme parks division last year Argo announced that he would step down when his contract expires at the end of twenty twenty one he will remain at the company as executive chairman and according to a Disney press release will direct the company's creative endeavors joining me to discuss the Disney news is Ben Fritz is the west coast bureau chief of the Wall Street journal he's also the author of the book the big picture the fight for the future of movies so Bob Eiger has mentioned several times that he was going to leave his current position what are we to make of the timing right now it's tough to tell exactly why what why the sudden change after all these years about what you're saying he was gonna leave it at night and then on saying he was gonna leave and delaying he delayed his retirement numerous times over the past decade and he's you know less than a year and a half into it his latest three year contract so it's kind of surprising in its day but on the other hand like it's very I gear to sort of do it do it all in secret and then all of a sudden announced to the world and in an unexpected way so his successor Bob che pack runs Disney's biggest business that is theme parks and consumer products what are we to make of his selection and were there other people who might have been competing for the job certainly our or other people like I think the biggest contender currently at Disney's Kevin Mayer who's running their new screening effort you know that's led by Disney plus he's piece insert top strategy except for the company for a long time you know with Kate Kate back amongst the current crop of executives that is a bit of a safe choice right he's running he's running sort of the traditional businesses like theme parks obviously business most associated with Disney as opposed to remaining which is certainly the future of Disney and you know by all accounts he pick is a very smart guy and a very competent guy but certainly is not so different sort of had like the the Christmas season as much of the house of a great public speaker of this you know Bob Iger's let's talk a little bit about what Bob Iger has done at the Walt Disney company I'm gonna name before deals Pixar's seven point four billion Marvel for billion Lucasfilm for billion and last year the Whopper twenty first century fox seventy one point three billion those are all kind of content movie TV deals what kind of studio is Bob Eiger leaving behind before we talk about the rest of the company I really mean highway I think anybody would have to say is sort of the most successful and tightly run major entertainment company in in America today because he's very focused on franchises they were ahead of the rest of Hollywood and it pops into their business on franchises as you said a lot of that to acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel and Star Wars and franchises are busy sort of at the heart of the movie business these days in an auger was somewhat ahead of the curve in realizing you can just keep selling something Netflix is that Disney would have to launch its own streaming service to compete just like Disney plus is already out there and it's you know is is certainly ahead of what we're seeing from his competitors like HBO maxim peacock which are still to come I think I think later this year so you have to say he's always been for media executive pretty ahead of the curve and and been a leader is not just Disney plus as part of the fox deal they got a portion of who lived in they bought out the rest of the portion of Hulu from Comcast so what does Disney focused on now in terms of taking on Netflix with streaming they have Disney plus they have who is that where a lot of their money and attention is going right now absolutely I mean the future of Disney as an intern came distributor is Disney plus Hulu and ESPN plus right those are it's three major streaming services and traditional TV businesses being shrunk rapidly that's for Disney's putting all its efforts and a lot of films such as going there as well so that if that is the future of Disney but yet the one business they have it certainly not shrinking is the one that's cheapest and overseeing which is part of the consumer products right while all traditional entertainment is being disrupted people still love to go to theme parks and Disney theme parks are more successful than ever these days I want to buy the toys as well so that's sort of the more traditional side of the business that is not being transformed by digital technology I think you can make the argument that theme parks have what's known in business as a wide moat there not a lot of competitors to theme parks but there is something called the corona virus and there are problems that theme parks and cruise lines of which Disney has a cruise line are also facing pressure so what is that business look like going forward and what does it tell us about how Disney values theme parks that Bob Chapek will be running the whole company well listen I think in the short run it's not a great moment to be running theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong is Disney does and to have cruise ships so that businesses under pressure right now but I you know presuming I hope we do get the fire under control I think everybody within these businesses will continue to be successful if they have been and you know popped out to tech has by all accounts and done a very good job running those businesses and he generated a lot of profit for the people to the company if that's that you set up for a lot of the revenue and profits comments you know streaming is the future of streaming is a money losing business for now and I think you know with disappointment Disney's kind of saying yes stream is important part of our future but Disney is still a company that that it that it's hard to it's about the experiences people have in our theme parks Bob I will leave a great track record I think the Disney company is a very impressive guy in person a great public speaker there's been some speculation about him running for political office do you think that's potentially part of his future anything's possible right I think you know as he's publicly said that he toyed with the idea of running for president this year and he decided it wasn't right for him but he's you know very politically active Democrat I would not be surprised if he's hoping that you know if the next president is a Democrat that he might you know have some kind of a role in it in an administration I think that's something he would probably love to do it with fifteen profile very well well I'm gonna assume he's not jumping in this year it feels like we really don't need another billionaire and the rice then Fred's is the west coast bureau chief for the wallstreet journal band thanks so much for going

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