From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Sean Sposato
In a recent interview with SiriusXM’s Alan Fleischmann., The Walt Disney Company’s Bob Iger sat down to discuss his impeding retirement, which may not be much of a retirement after all.
“I’m not retiring. I can’t possibly do that,” Iger told SiriusXM Business Radio’s: Leadership Matters. “First of all, my wife’s still working, my kids are all out of the house, I’m not gonna sit around the house binge watching television shows. And so I will figure it out, but I am not going to figure it out while I’m still at Disney and I’m not going to over-commit so that by the time I get out, I won’t have any freedom either … So I’d like a little bit more leisure time in my life. And I’d like more adventure, whatever that is.”
Additionally, in the interview, the former CEO discussed his quick exit from his position last year, which was filled by Bob Chapek. Coincidentally, this fast structure change came right around the beginning of the harsh wave of financial difficulties the company faced due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I did not want to overstay my welcome. I really wanted to leave at a time that felt good, that I had accomplished a lot, that I had not hit too many speed bumps, or suddenly that my luck would run out or all of those things. I wanted the timing to be right, and 15 years felt like enough,” Iger said. “And so what I proposed to the board, I know it felt abrupt because we kept this very quiet, but some months before the announcement I proposed to the board that I would stay on through the end of my tenure, which is the end of ’21, but in a different role.”
He continued: “So I thought the best thing I could possibly do for the company would be one, make sure that we succeed at succession, and that my successor is successful. And then second, leave the company and my successor with the greatest possible hand created creatively. A pipeline of movies, and television shows, and theme park attractions, and lands, and you name it that would power the company for many years to come.”
In the interview, Iger revealed he is also thinking of writing another book–in addition to his ideas of what he believes his life will be like in the months following his departure from the company.
“I imagine that in these next few months, I’ll end up slowly becoming less and less relevant,” he said, adding that “There are places I want to go, I hope to get to. I Hope COVID allows me to say goodbye to people that have been so important in my career and my Disney life. You mentioned Shanghai at the beginning, we celebrate our fifth anniversary there this spring, and I’m intent on getting back there and seeing it one more time, as a non-civilian.”
Will you forget Bob Iger after he officially departs form The Walt Disney Company? Let us know in the comments!