Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney; William STEVENS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
- Bob Iger returned to the helm of Disney last November, less than a year after he retired.
- He told Time he’s looking to Steve Jobs’ Apple homecoming for inspiration.
- Iger said such comebacks need “incredible resolve, incredible zeal, and incredible energy.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger said his return to the media giant is inspired by Steve Jobs’ 1997 Apple homecoming, in an interview with Time magazine.
Iger became the company’s CEO from 2005 to 2020, when he handed over the reins to Bob Chapek in an unstable transition amid tensions between the pair, Insider’s Claire Atkinson reported.
But he returned to the role last November, two weeks after a dismal earnings report that saw Disney’s stock tank 13% in a single day to reach a 52-week low.
Jobs saw a similar comeback to Apple in 1997 – 12 years after his acrimonious exit – and resurrected the company from the brink of bankruptcy.
In the Time interview published Thursday, Iger said he was looking at what the Apple cofounder did for inspiration. He described Jobs as “the person that I think most of, that I was fortunate enough to have observed very closely.”
During his period away from Apple, Jobs acquired Pixar, which went on to produce Toy Story – the first feature-length computer-animated film – in 1995. The film generated huge profits for Jobs thanks to a distribution deal with Disney. Iger joined Disney’s senior management team a year later, per CNBC, and as CEO purchased Pixar from Jobs in 2006.
Iger said he’d “taken a lot” from speaking with Jobs and reflecting on his experiences, but also pointed out “very different circumstances” because Jobs had founded his company.
“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,” Iger said. “And then go at it with incredible resolve, incredible zeal, and incredible energy.”
Since returning to the helm, Iger has announced 7,000 job cuts while Insider previously reported he has ousted many of his opponents.
Disney’s stock is up 15.7% since the end of 2022, per Markets Insider data.
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