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Does Bob Iger’s Resignation from Apple Board Confirm a Merger?

disney apple bob iger resigns
Images Credit: Apple; Disney

Recently, the four-year-old news of Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned from Apple’s board of directors resurfaced online, and had this writer speculating about what it means for the Apple-Disney merger.

For the longest time, Apple and the Walt Disney Company have been making headlines for a possible sale. Notably, for months now, analysts from Needham have been insisting that Disney will eventually sell to Apple, and that is Disney CEO Bob Iger’s long game.

Bob Iger has made his stance on these rumors clear: he will not be addressing them or speculating about them and refuses to fan the flames (though, according to some, his actions speak volumes).

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, current Disney CEO Bob Iger

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, current Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: ABC

Read More: Bob Iger Has Many Convinced an Apple Merger is On the Horizon

Bob Iger Resigns from His Post on Apple’s Board of Directors in 2019

Per a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2019, Apple said Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned from his post on September 10, the same day Apple unveiled further details on its streaming service, Apple TV+.

Since this, while some may have worried that Apple and Disney would lose their easy camaraderie and friendship, that’s certainly not true. Apple then even released a statement praising Mr. Iger and even clarified they expected to continue to have a relationship with the Walt Disney Company.

“Bob has been an exemplary board member for nearly eight years, and for as long as he has led Disney he has been one of Apple’s most trusted business partners,” Apple’s statement explained. “He is a dedicated, visionary CEO and a role model for an entire generation of business leaders. More than anything, Bob is our friend. He leads with his heart and he has always been generous with his time and advice. While we will greatly miss his contributions as a board member, we respect his decision and we have every expectation that our relationship with both Bob and Disney will continue far into the future.”

Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Related: As Disney Starts To Show Its Warts, Apple Slowly Backs Away

On his part, at the time, Bob Iger also shared a statement that elucidated his views on the situation and his appreciation for Apple, and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“I have the utmost respect for Tim Cook, his team at Apple, and for my fellow board members,” he shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

And continue their relationship with Apple, Disney did. They have worked together on the Apple Vision Pro headsets and continue to offer Disney+ in exclusive ways on Apple’s products. While the question of whether an Apple-Disney merger has been discussed to no end, the reality is that Disney’s current predicament leaves it open to benefit massively from partnering with Apple.

Disney CEO Bob Iger, Steve Jobs

Left: Disney CEO Bob Iger, Right: Former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs / Credit: nagi usano, Flickr/ David Geller, Flickr

Related: Move Over Apple: $1 TRILLION Company Showing Interest in Buying Disney

While Disney+ has far overtaken Apple TV+ in what it offers and its popularity, the two companies continue to work together to allow for incredible innovation (despite frustrations at prices). The possibilities if Apple and Disney combine are endless.

And notable is that both companies stuck to their word. Disney and Apple both insisted they would continue their relationship; back in 2019, Bob Iger himself had said Disney might have had a deal with Apple had Steve Jobs not passed away at the time. With this interwoven history, and the history of being consistent with their word, perhaps the Apple-Disney merger is more possible than not—even if it’s a few years down the line.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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