Heidi Gutman/Walt Disney Television(NEW YORK) — The chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger told The View on Monday that one of the reasons he brought Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm and 21st Century Fox into the company’s fold was because he wasn’t concerned with protecting the status quo of Disney.
Iger details the incredible successes of his career in his new memoir The Ride of a Lifetime. On Monday, he spoke to The View co-hosts about why he was intent on taking risks in order to make Disney one of the largest and most respected media companies in the world.
“I think if you look at our world today and how much disruption there is, how much change there is, that if you play it safe, if somehow or another you try to protect the status quo, you don’t get anywhere,” Iger said.
“I worked for some incredible people who were bold and brave and were risk takers,” said Iger of mentors Roone Arledge, Michael Eisner and Steve Jobs. “I was also fortunate I wasn’t born with much of a fear gene. So, I believed in what I was doing. I believed in myself. I believed in a lot of people I had been involved with, too.”
Iger told Good Morning America on Monday that Disney’s record-breaking film Black Panther was one of the “highest moments” in his career, and told The View’s co-hosts why it was so important to him.
“In today’s world…diversity is incredibly important. But we also live in a world that is more diverse than ever before … when we make things, they have to reflect the world we’re making them for,” Iger said. “There were a lot of naysayers. There was a feeling that spending a lot of money on a film like that was risky, [that] it wouldn’t resonate overseas. I just didn’t want to believe any of that.”
“We love the fact that it succeeded against what many thought were big odds,” he added. “I actually didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as many other people did, because if you tell a great story like that, that just resonates… That’s what you have to believe in.”
Iger, 68, discussed his plans to retire in 2021 on The View. He started working with the Disney Company in 1974 and has served as the CEO for nearly 15 years.
“It feels like time,” Iger said about his retirement. “I believe that change is important in someone’s life and I’m 68 years old. I still feel pretty young and energetic… I hope to discover life outside of work.”
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