Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has been named person of the year by Times,and for good reason.
“Iger’s tenure as the leader of the world’s most lucrative dream factory has been one long CEO highlight reel,” Belinda Luscombe wrote in her article for Time. “But 2019 was an apex year, when many of his carefully incubated eggs hatched.”
In the last 12 months, Iger has closed a $71 billion acquisition of Fox, opened two Star Wars themed lands, launched streaming service Disney+, gained complete control of Hulu and released the highest-grossing movie in cinematic history, “Avengers Endgame.”
Shares of the company are up nearly 35% since January.
Iger has been at the helm of Disney since 2005 and has laid the groundwork for this impressive year.
“In 2006, he made a $7.4 billion deal to buy Pixar from a guy who hated Disney,” Luscombe wrote. “Then he bought Marvel, a company built on the mercurial fantasies of adolescent males, then Lucasfilm, when the Star Wars stories seemed burned out.”
So far this year, Disney has released six of the eight highest-grossing films of 2019. Included among those titles were two Marvel films, a Pixar film, and there’s little doubt that Disney’s next Star Wars film will soon be added to the list when it is released in theaters next week.
“And in a year when the tide has shifted against Big Business, Big Media and Big Tech, Iger has transformed his enormous media company into a gargantuan media and tech business while ensuring that the Walt Disney Co.’s products remain widely beloved,” Luscombe wrote.