Disney CEO Bob Iger will finally be inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Here's how the media titan makes and spends his $690 million fortune.
- Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger will finally be inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
- Iger is known as one of the most influential and innovative business leaders in Hollywood.
- Starting in a lowly position at ABC, he has spent over 40 years working at what's now The Walt Disney Company and has been responsible for growing the company's profit revenue 335%, Business Insider previously reported.
- Iger was also at the helm of the company during Disney's acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and most recently, 21st Century Fox.
- Aside from building up Disney, Iger has also built up a sizeable net worth of $690 million, making him significantly richer than the current Disney heir, according to Forbes.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Bob Iger isn't called the "King of Hollywood" for nothing - and now, the "King" will be inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
Since starting his entertainment career in 1974 as a studio supervisor at ABC, Iger has climbed through the show business ranks to become the CEO of one of the most powerful businesses in the world. Iger recounted this journey in his memoir "The Ride of a Lifetime," released in September, in which he chronicled how he went from making $150 a week doing "menial labor" on ABC shows, to earning over $60 million a year running The Walt Disney Company.
Business Insider previously reported that since Iger became CEO in 2005, he has raised Disney's profits 335%. But after 45 years in the entertainment industry, Disney isn't the only thing Iger has built up - he has also amassed a sizeable personal fortune.
Forbes reported that Iger has a net worth of $690 million, which is thought to be higher than that of Abigail Disney; the Disney heiress said in July she's worth about $120 million. Iger, meanwhile, was compensated $65.6 million in 2018 - which Forbes notes is 1,424 times what the average Disney employee makes.
The Walt Disney Company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Here's what we know about Iger's life and rise, including how he made and now spends his multimillion fortune.
Bob Iger is one of the most influential business leaders in the world. He has been the CEO of Disney since 2005 and has a net worth of $690 million, per Forbes' estimates.
On December 3, the Television Academy announced that Iger — along with Seth MacFarlane and Cicely Tyson, among several others — would be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Iger was born Robert Allen Iger in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in the small town of Oceanside, New York.
He attended Ithaca College where he graduated magna cum lade in 1973 with a degree in Television and Radio.
In 1974, Iger joined ABC, working in New York City. He wrote in his memoir "The Ride of a Lifetime" that he did "menial labor" for basically every show ABC produced out of Manhattan at the time.
But after a confrontation with his boss, Iger was fired and began looking for a new job. Soon after, he moved over to a position at ABC Sports.
He worked his way up the ABC Sports ladder, working closely with Roone Arledge, "a relentless perfectionist" who was the head of ABC Sports at the time.
Iger went on to become the vice president of ABC Sports. ABC was later sold to Capital Cities Communications for $3.5 billion, in a deal finalized in 1986.
Shortly after, Tom Murphy and Dan Burke — the heads of Capital Cities/ABC — tapped Iger to become the head of ABC Entertainment, and Iger moved to Los Angeles, California.
While at the helm of ABC Entertainment, Iger was the one who took a chance and put David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" on air.
In 1993, Iger became president of ABC Network's Television Group. When Burke retired, Iger was tapped to replace him as president and chief operating officer of Capital Cities/ABC.
In 1995, Iger married journalist Willow Bay who, at the time, was a stand-in weekend news anchor on Good Morning America, and was poised to take over for then-full time host Joan Lunden.
In 1996, The Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion, and renamed it ABC, Inc.
In 1999, Iger became the president of Disney International, the business division overseeing Disney's global operations. A year later, he was tapped to become the chief operating officer of Disney, working directly under then-CEO Michael Eisner.
In the early 2000s, tensions began to brew between Eisner and Roy E. Disney, the heir of Disney. After Eisner stepped down, Iger became the CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 2005.
One of Iger's first major moves as CEO was to rebuild Disney's relationship with Pixar. At the time, the relationship between Disney and Pixar was strained, and Iger felt the future of Disney Animation relied on repairing it.
Luckily, the two companies found a way to come together, and in 2006, Disney announced that it would acquire Pixar for $7.4 billion, making Jobs, the majority shareholder in Pixar at the time, the majority shareholder in Disney.
In 2009, Iger led Disney's acquisition of Marvel for $4 billion. This gave Disney access to the Marvel comic book library, which was the beginning of the now multibillion-dollar, box office record-breaking Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Still looking to help Disney expand into the future, in 2012, Iger led Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. This gave Disney control of not just the Star Wars franchise, but also the Indiana Jones franchise.
The company's acquisition spree continued in 2018, when Disney agreed to buy 21st Century Fox. Fox at the time was owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch who, after the sale, became one of the largest shareholders in Disney.
In March, the merger between 21st Century Fox and Disney was completed, with a price tag of $71.3 billion. This move made Disney the second largest media company in the world, Forbes reported.
Iger is known among peers for being a very kind leader and has been praised by his contemporaries for the way he has handled the mergers of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.
Iger's own increasing fortune has paralleled the rise in Disney's value over the years he's been at the helm.
As Iger is a very private person, not much is known about his spending. He lives in a $19 million home in Brentwood, California, with his wife and their two children.
The Igers also previously owned an apartment on the Upper East Side of New York City. The property sold in 2018 for $18.75 million, Business Insider reported.
Iger also spends time — and likely money — maintaining his mental and physical health, about which he's notoriously rigorous. He told The New York Times that he wakes up at 4:15 every morning and doesn't touch his phone until he's finished with his morning exercise routine.
When he's "off the clock," he travels. Iger is a regular attendee at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. The media conference is a hub for entertainment and tech moguls, and it attracts titans like Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
In his personal life, Iger has a set of A-list friends who have been known to rave about him. One of those friends is media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who has said that if Iger were to run for president, she would not just vote for him but eagerly campaign on his behalf.
He is also close to Jeffrey Katzenberg, cofounder of Dreamworks and former chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Katzenberg has a net worth of $900 million.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Iger has also been seen on billionaire David Geffen's yacht. In August 2017, Iger was seen on the yacht with Winfrey, Diane von Furstenberg, and Diane Sawyer.
Iger also spends some of his fortune on vacations. Beyond their business dealings related to Disney and Pixar, Iger was also close personal friends with Jobs and has said the two would vacation together in nearby resorts in Hawaii.
Iger possibly running for president isn't surprising; he's also spent his free time involved in politics in the past. Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, Iger joined Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.
But Iger stepped down in 2017 after Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Variety reported.
Despite many people urging him to run, Iger publicly remains firm that he has no plans to pursue a presidential campaign. One factor currently standing in the way: His current Disney contract doesn't end until 2021.
If Iger were to decide to run for president, he certainly has the money to fund a campaign.
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