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Bippity Boppity Bob Iger: What You Need to Know About the Two-Peat Disney CEO Who Rules the Magic Kingdom After a 15-year stint as Disney's CEO, Iger left the role only to return two years later.

By Sam Silverman

Key Takeaways

  • When Bob Iger started out in the business of entertainment, he was only making $150 a week.
  • Today he earns an estimated $27 million salary as the CEO of Disney.
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Bob Iger is like the house mouse who keeps coming back for more. The Disney CEO has been shaking up the Magic Kingdom since 2005.

Iger left the CEO role after 15 years on the job in 2020 only to resume the position at the $158 billion company in November 2022. Iger came back to the mouse house after the company suffered major losses from its Disney+ streaming service under his successor Bob Chapek, per Reuters. He made several immediate changes, including hiking prices at parks, planning to merge Disney+ and Hulu under one app and laying off more than 7,000 employees across ESPN, Disney parks and other departments.

And he's not done yet. Although Iger initially agreed to come out of retirement for only two more years, Disney has since extended his contract through 2026, per Reuters.

"There is more to accomplish before this transformative work is complete," Iger said in a statement.

Iger has most recently made headlines for his comments on the ongoing Writer's Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which are being led by members of the entertainment industry petitioning for fairer wages. In an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, Iger said the unions' demands are "not realistic."

Keep scrolling for more details about Iger's Disney career and salary.

How did Bob Iger get to where he is today?

Bob Iger's career in the business of entertainment began after graduating from Ithaca College in 1974 with a degree in television and radio production. Shortly after graduation, Iger began working at ABC as a "glorified errand boy," The New York Times wrote.

At the time, he was only making $150 a week, he told Time for the 2023 TIME100 cover shoot. "I had to spend every single cent that I made in order to live," he said during the interview.

He then worked his way up in the sports division, where he mainly negotiated rights and scheduled programs, including making the daily schedule of events for the 1988 Olympics, per NYT archives. He was promoted to executive vice president of the ABC Television Network Group, but after a year on the job, ABC made him president of entertainment in 1989.

Related: 'It Is What Drives The Company': Returning Disney CEO Bob Iger Outlines New Creativity-Focused Vision

In 1993 he became president of ABC Television Network Group, where he oversaw the broadcast network and the radio and publishing business, according to CNBC. He helped oversee the merger between ABC and Disney when Disney bought the company in 1995. After that, he became chairman of the now-Disney-owned ABC Group and was later named president of Walt Disney International in 1999.

He was made COO of Disney in 2000 and stayed in the role for five years before he took on the role of CEO, which he held from 2005 to 2020.

During his first stint as CEO, Disney acquired Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion in 2006 and later purchased Marvel for around $4 billion in 2009.

He was also behind Disney's $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm and the $71 billion deal to buy 20th Century Fox in 2019.

Iger was instrumental in launching the Disney+ streaming service.

Why did Bob Iger leave Disney, and why did he come back?

After 15 years at the helm, Iger announced his retirement in 2020 and handed the reins to Bob Chapek.

"With the successful launch of Disney's direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO," he said at the time, per CNBC.

Although Iger stepped back from his role as CEO, he remained executive chairman and chairman of the board until December 2021, when he officially retired.

But Chapek's time at Disney ended more quickly than expected. During his short stint as CEO, Disney struggled to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic and found itself in a political battle with Florida governor Ron DeSantis over the state's "don't say gay" bill.

Related: Embattled Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek's Exit Package Is Worth More Than $20 Million

Disney's stock fell following disappointing Q4 earnings, prompting Iger's return as CEO in November 2022.

"I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the board to return as its CEO," Iger said in a statement at the time.

What is Bob Iger's Disney salary, and what is his net worth?

Bob Iger has come a long way since his days making $150 a week.

In his previous contract, Iger was entitled to up to $27 million per year in total compensation, according to Reuters. Extending his contract until 2026 entitles him to an incentive bonus of up to five times his base salary.

In 2019, Forbes estimated his net worth to be around $690 million, which was more than it estimated Disney heirs Abigail Disney and Roy E. Disney had to their names at the time. Now, other websites estimate his fortune to be around $350 million.

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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