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Carroll School of Management

ceo2016-10-05

Robert A. Iger

Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company

"A Conversation with The Walt Disney Company's Chairman and CEO, Robert Iger"

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft interviewed his long-time friend and business associate Robert Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, at the October 5 meeting of the Boston College Chief Executives Club. Disney's market cap has grown from less than $50 billion to more than $150 billion in the 11 years Iger has led the company, noted Kraft. He praised Iger’s "vision and leadership during the economic downturn," when Disney outmaneuvered its competitors to acquire Lucasfilm, the Marvel/Captain America franchise, and Pixar. Iger spoke about the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort, and the multiple challenges of changing technology. While he declined to discuss rumors that Disney was considering acquiring Netflix or Twitter, he said it was imperative that business leaders aggressively embrace new technology "not only because of its inevitability and the fact that it’s changing us so much, but because it’s where the consumer is today."  

TAKEAWAYS

"I think the biggest thing that we’re trying to do now is figure out what technology’s role is in distributing the great content that we have. Because it’s one thing to be as fortunate as we are to have Disney and ABC and ESPN and Pixar and Marvel and Star Wars or Lucasfilm—fantastic. But in today’s world, it’s almost not enough to have all that stuff unless you have access to your consumer." Transcript and Video about Consumer Access

"[Shanghai Disney Resort] is doing extremely well. We’ve not been particularly public about it yet, because it’s only been open since June, but the first 100 days were incredibly successful. Millions of people have already gone, and they’re staying for almost two hours longer … per visit than we had anticipated. So the guest satisfaction, which we measure in very granular ways, is very, very high." Transcript and Video about Shanghai Disney  

"It is interesting to consider a world where consumers have the ability to pick and choose what the [multi-channel TV] packages are that they subscribe to, and I think you’re ultimately going to get to a point where that authority shifts even more. Now, it could be that when it happens, consumers will ultimately opt for more [channels] versus less, but we’ll see." Transcript and Video about Subscription Television Services

PRESS COVERAGE

Barron's
"Walt Disney: Twitter, Netflix Wrong Solutions to Its Problems"

Bloomberg
"Disney Says Shanghai Park Attendance Well Above Expectations"
 

Bloomberg, Technology
"Disney’s Iger Sees Mobile Video Future, With or Without Twitter"

Boston Business Journal
"Disney CEO Bob Iger talks distribution amid Netflix, Twitter acquisition rumors"
 

Boston Globe
"5 business tips Robert Kraft learned from the CEO of Disney"

Boston Herald
"At BC event, Disney CEO talks tech, future"
 

 

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