Bob Iger Celebrates 50 Years With Disney: ‘Truly the Ride of a Lifetime’

Disney CEO Bob Iger celebrated a major milestone on Monday: The 50th anniversary of his start date at ABC, which has now been commemorated as “50 Magical Years” at the Walt Disney Company.

“I started my career at ABC 50 years ago today and the business has certainly changed a lot since then! But at the end of the day, success still hinges on one thing: great storytelling. I’m proud to work alongside so many talented colleagues who create exceptional stories and experiences for the world to enjoy … truly the ride of a lifetime!” Iger wrote on Instagram.

Of course, it’s not quite accurate to say Iger has spent 50 years with the house of mouse. When he joined ABC as a production assistant as a 23-year-old in 1974, ABC was owned by American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres, the company formed from the merger of ABC and Paramount Theatres in 1953.

By 1988, when Iger was named a senior programming executive for ABC’s Calgary Olympics coverage, the network was owned by Capital Cities/ABC, the company formed when Capital Cities acquired (the far larger company) ABC in 1986. That year, Iger was named head of ABC Entertainment and by 1994 had risen to president and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC.

Disney purchased ABC in 1995, leaving Iger in place as chairman of the newly-created Disney subsidiary ABC, Inc. He was promoted to president of Walt Disney International in 1999 and the next year was bumped up to Disney COO, the company’s No. 2 slot behind then-chairman and CEO Michael Eisner. When Roy E. Disney and Stanley Gold sparked the “Save Disney” shareholder revolt in 2003, Iger became the consensus candidate to replace the embattled Eisner in ’05.

But, while Iger has only been with Disney for 29 years, his impact on the company — the record-breaking successes that began with the acquisition of Pixar in 2006 and continued almost uninterrupted through 2019 — obviously ranks among the most important and impactful in its century-long history. So we’ll allow it.

And, of course, despite the troubles the company has faced since 2020, Iger’s 50th anniversary commemoration follows the success of “Inside Out 2,” which just surpassed $1 billion at the box office just two weeks after its release.

The post Bob Iger Celebrates 50 Years With Disney: ‘Truly the Ride of a Lifetime’ appeared first on TheWrap.