Disney CEO Bob Iger resigns from Apple board as streaming wars heat up

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 13
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger on Friday announced his resignation from Apple's board of directors, a move that comes just two months before the two companies will go head-to-head in the highly competitive video streaming business.

Iger


Iger's exit was revealed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, which notes the media mogul resigned effective Sept. 10. Prior to his departure, Iger served as chair of Apple's corporate governance committee and participated on the company's compensation board.

Speculation that Iger would be forced off Apple's board surfaced in March shortly after the two companies finalized plans to launch competing streaming services. Apple is due to debut Apple TV+ with a slate of original content on Nov. 1, while Disney will make its Disney+ product available less than two weeks later on Nov. 12.

"It has been an extraordinary privilege to have served on the Apple board for 8 years, and I have the utmost respect for Tim Cook, his team at Apple, and for my fellow board members," Iger said in a statement, as reported by CNBC. "Apple is one of the world's most admired companies, known for the quality and integrity of its products and its people, and I am forever grateful to have served as a member of the company's board."

Iger attempted to put rumors of an imminent withdrawal to bed during an interview in April, suggesting there would be no conflict of interest should he remain.

"Obviously I'm mindful of my fiduciary responsibility to Apple shareholders as a member of the board," Iger told Bloomberg at the time. "When the subject is discussed at Apple board meetings, I'm careful to recuse myself, and I'm in constant dialogue about making sure that I'm not doing anything that in any way would essentially cause me to be wouldn't be in keeping with what an Apple board member would do."

The situation has apparently changed.

Disney said it plans to make Disney+ available to owners of Apple hardware, including Apple TV set-top boxes, likely through a dedicated app that will launch alongside the service.

Iger joined Apple's board in 2011 and is credited with rebuilding relations between Disney and late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' Pixar studio following unrest under former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. The current Disney chief was also pivotal in negotiating deals to sell content owned by Disney and its subsidiaries through the iTunes store.

Disney and Apple grew to be close allies in the years after Iger's installment to the board. Along with media distribution agreements, Apple has gone so far as to build special animated Apple Watch watch faces featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse into its watchOS platform.

Iger is the second high-profile Apple board member to leave in the past decade due to potential conflicts of interest. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from his duties at Apple in 2009 as the search giant unleashed its Android mobile operating system as a market competitor to iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    As I've been saying for years, Disney is the biggest threat to Apple over the next ten years. Nothing wrong with that. Competition is good. But you can't have major competitors sharing members on their respective boards of directors because that's a conflict of interest.

    Disney is competing with Apple (very soon) on selling streaming video, and Disney is likely to crush Apple (into Apple Sauce) in this area. But Disney also owns the company that makes Hero Pro cameras, and it's a small step for them to take that capacity and start producing hardware like a video streamer. Because of Disney's content, they could probably crush both the Apple TV hardware and Apple TV+ services. And maybe other things like Apple Arcade, or Apple News, in a few years.
    AppleExposedcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 69
    As I've been saying for years, Disney is the biggest threat to Apple over the next ten years. Nothing wrong with that. Competition is good. But you can't have major competitors sharing members on their respective boards of directors because that's a conflict of interest.

    Disney is competing with Apple (very soon) on selling streaming video, and Disney is likely to crush Apple (into Apple Sauce) in this area. But Disney also owns the company that makes Hero Pro cameras, and it's a small step for them to take that capacity and start producing hardware like a video streamer. Because of Disney's content, they could probably crush both the Apple TV hardware and Apple TV+ services. And maybe other things like Apple Arcade, or Apple News, in a few years.
    Apple is not competing against Disney any more than any other creator of content is. And certainly Apple isn't competing against Disney on old content. As regards a hardware battle, let's hope Disney has the good sense not to go down that road. Contrary to what you assert, Disney is likely to get their ashes handed to them....
    AppleExposedStrangeDayshydrogenrandominternetpersongilly33
  • Reply 3 of 69
    Now if only the buffoon Al Gore would take a hike.
    rogifan_newcommon sense 65SpamSandwichboltsfan17emoellerthrangmacseekerkestraltrashman69razorpit
  • Reply 4 of 69
    sacto joe said:
    As I've been saying for years, Disney is the biggest threat to Apple over the next ten years. Nothing wrong with that. Competition is good. But you can't have major competitors sharing members on their respective boards of directors because that's a conflict of interest.

    Disney is competing with Apple (very soon) on selling streaming video, and Disney is likely to crush Apple (into Apple Sauce) in this area. But Disney also owns the company that makes Hero Pro cameras, and it's a small step for them to take that capacity and start producing hardware like a video streamer. Because of Disney's content, they could probably crush both the Apple TV hardware and Apple TV+ services. And maybe other things like Apple Arcade, or Apple News, in a few years.
    Apple is not competing against Disney any more than any other creator of content is. And certainly Apple isn't competing against Disney on old content. As regards a hardware battle, let's hope Disney has the good sense not to go down that road. Contrary to what you assert, Disney is likely to get their ashes handed to them....
    You are right if you are thinking of the present. I said I was thinking of the future, up to ten years from now. So I fully agree with you that Apple is not competing with Disney now, today. You and I are in complete, unadulterated, agreement on that.
    edited September 13 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 69
    Thank you for your service and time. You have made a good difference through your character and integrity. You won’t be forgotten.
    chasmmontrosemacs
  • Reply 6 of 69
    That’s a big loss. The history of Apple cannot be written without Disney, and vice versa. As a customer, I benefited from their close ties, and I was hoping they would come together on a streaming service. Let’s hope the door is not closed. 
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 7 of 69
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 552member
    Bets!  Any bets?  Is this The Mole #2 at the ready?  Is high drama afoot?!!   :D
  • Reply 8 of 69
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,690unconfirmed, member
    That sucks. Was hoping Iger took over Apple after Cook. I like the fact he spends money lol.

    I do wish Jobs was around. Apple TV+ and Disney+ would have likely been one service....
  • Reply 9 of 69
    How does the Chairman and CEO of Disney find the time to be an Apple Director?
  • Reply 10 of 69
    But Disney also owns the company that makes Hero Pro cameras, and it's a small step for them to take that capacity and start producing hardware like a video streamer. .
    What?! Since when? Please provide reference because the last time I checked, GoPro was still another public company... unless I missed something.
  • Reply 11 of 69
    Unlike Eric Schmidt of Google who stayed on the board to pilfer iPhone secrets for Android 
    edited September 13 AppleExposedkestralbadmonkqwerty52
  • Reply 12 of 69
    mobird said:
    Now if only the buffoon Al Gore would take a hike.
    Why?
  • Reply 13 of 69

    sacto joe said:
    As I've been saying for years, Disney is the biggest threat to Apple over the next ten years. Nothing wrong with that. Competition is good. But you can't have major competitors sharing members on their respective boards of directors because that's a conflict of interest.

    Disney is competing with Apple (very soon) on selling streaming video, and Disney is likely to crush Apple (into Apple Sauce) in this area. But Disney also owns the company that makes Hero Pro cameras, and it's a small step for them to take that capacity and start producing hardware like a video streamer. Because of Disney's content, they could probably crush both the Apple TV hardware and Apple TV+ services. And maybe other things like Apple Arcade, or Apple News, in a few years.
    Apple is not competing against Disney any more than any other creator of content is. And certainly Apple isn't competing against Disney on old content. As regards a hardware battle, let's hope Disney has the good sense not to go down that road. Contrary to what you assert, Disney is likely to get their ashes handed to them....
    You are right if you are thinking of the present. I said I was thinking of the future, up to ten years from now. So I fully agree with you that Apple is not competing with Disney now, today. You and I are in complete, unadulterated, agreement on that.
    It's still not that big of a deal. Disney is a content/IP holder. Apple sells hardware and a suite of services to go with it. They are different models. Apple will not be solely a content/IP competitor in ten years. They will still rely on hardware. Disney and Netflix and HBO are direct competitors -- with each other.
  • Reply 14 of 69

    Ashburn said:
    That’s a big loss. The history of Apple cannot be written without Disney, and vice versa. As a customer, I benefited from their close ties, and I was hoping they would come together on a streaming service. Let’s hope the door is not closed. 
    The history of Apple cannot be written without Disney? I mean, I guess, if you mean that Jobs was a stockholder of both. But the business of Apple is independent of Apple. They have no major collaborative joint projects. Would you say the history of Apple cannot be written without Nike?
  • Reply 15 of 69
    No surprise Bob Iger is stepping down.  Disney is all in on streaming their own content.  

    Apple is creating content.  Big conflict of interest moving forward.

    Apple only advantage is giving away Apple TV+ for free (1 year) with hardware. And, hope they have enough content to get people to renew.

    Disney has the content.  It’s going to take Apple a long time (if ever) to get anywhere close Disney’s.  

    I see no reason besides being free to give Apple’s a try...  
    edited September 13 entropys
  • Reply 16 of 69
    hentaiboy said:
    How does the Chairman and CEO of Disney find the time to be an Apple Director?
    There are lots of CEOs who serve on other companies board of directors. I think the majority of them only weigh in during the quarterly earnings, but I could be wrong.
  • Reply 17 of 69
    But Disney also owns the company that makes Hero Pro cameras, and it's a small step for them to take that capacity and start producing hardware like a video streamer. .
    What?! Since when? Please provide reference because the last time I checked, GoPro was still another public company... unless I missed something.
    https://www.titlemax.com/discovery-center/money-finance/companies-disney-owns-worldwide/ Steamboat Ventures: An offshoot of The Walt Disney Company, Steamboat founder and Managing Partner John Ball serves on GoPro's board. He and his team have a history of backing companies that go on to be acquired. Ever heard of Steamboat Willie? Yes, GoPro is publicly traded, but Disney owns so much of the stock Disney reps sit on the GoPro board of directors.
    edited September 13 emoeller
  • Reply 18 of 69
    No surprise Bob Iger is stepping down.  Disney is all in on streaming their own content.  

    Apple is creating content.  Big conflict of interest moving forward.

    Apple only advantage is giving away Apple TV+ for free (1 year) with hardware. And, hope they have enough content to get people to renew.

    Disney has the content.  It’s going to take Apple a long time (if ever) to get anywhere close Disney’s.  

    I see no reason besides being free to give Apple’s a try...  
    I would suspect the reason Apple TV+ is free for hardware purchases is there is very little back catalogue to speak of. What I want to know though is it one year only, or will it be free if hardware is purchased in one year’s time?
  • Reply 19 of 69
    But Disney also owns the company that makes Hero Pro cameras, and it's a small step for them to take that capacity and start producing hardware like a video streamer. .
    What?! Since when? Please provide reference because the last time I checked, GoPro was still another public company... unless I missed something.
    https://www.titlemax.com/discovery-center/money-finance/companies-disney-owns-worldwide/ Steamboat Ventures: An offshoot of The Walt Disney Company, Steamboat founder and Managing Partner John Ball serves on GoPro's board. He and his team have a history of backing companies that go on to be acquired. Ever heard of Steamboat Willie? Yes, GoPro is publicly traded, but Disney owns so much of the stock Disney reps sit on the GoPro board of directors.
    That's actually not true. Disney's investment arm Steamboat Ventures doesn't own that much GoPro stock. John Ball was only a board member for 3 years. He actually hasn't been on the GoPro board for 5 years now. So Disney really doesn't have that much to do with GoPro. 
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 20 of 69
    Apple will be getting skim off of Disney’s streaming offer. Probably 15% or whatever the rate is for subscription services. It is unfortunate that Apple and Disney did not combine efforts. 

    Disney’s streaming catalog is deep and even more so with the purchase of 20th Century Fox’s library along with all the channels Disney owns. Disney fans are like Apple fans...they love the product and will pay for it. Many will be surprised at the number of subscribers they will get. It’s another nail in the coffin for cable. 
    AppleExposed
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