Bob Iger Talks Next Disney CEO In Big Time 100 Interview

bob iger time 100
Credit: TIME

He’s always been a pretty big deal.

Now, Time 100 has cemented The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger’s status as an influential leader.

It was revealed today, April 13, that Iger has made the Time 100 list. Iger features in the “Innovator” category as one of the most influential people of 2023 and even made one of the highly-coveted spots on the magazine cover.

And in his big Time 100 interview, Iger talked DeSantis, layoffs, and the next Disney CEO, revealing it’s “the primary priority of the board.”

bob iger disney ceo

Credit: TIME

Amid a political fallout with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (who did not make the Time 100 list), Bob Iger has been recognized for his innovative vision as one of the “world’s most recognized CEOs.”

Disney recently appeared to one-up DeSantis in a quiet move that broke the internet. The former Reedy Creek Development board signed its power back to Disney before leaving office, a binding declaration that doesn’t expire until England’s monarchy dies out. Republicans voted for a bill to dissolve the Lake Buena Vista Resort’s special treatment in the state after Disney opposed the state’s “Parental Rights in Education Bill” (otherwise known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by its critics).

Governor DeSantis has threatened to step up his retaliation against The Walt Disney Company by imposing tolls and taxes on the Walt Disney World Resort – but it seems Iger once again has the winning hand.

bob iger time 100

Credit: TIME

In a full interview with Time, Iger spoke about Disney’s ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Disney’s recent executive layoffs, and the company’s future.

Iger said of his return to the Mouse after the firing of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, “I was brought back for a reason. The company had gone through a very difficult period, exacerbated by a global pandemic. And more than anything, the company needed stability, needed to establish a set of priorities and focus on them. The only way you end up getting to success is by deciding what the opportunities are, and then organizing your people and your company to go after them.”

This “stability” came with Iger’s dramatic and welcome return to the role of CEO in November 2022 after Chapek’s abrupt ousting. Iger has agreed to serve as CEO through the end of 2024, which has left everyone wondering who the next CEO will be. Iger was asked in the Time 100 interview about how the search will be different this time, to which he replied:

“Well, it’s not only one of my tasks; it’s the primary priority of the board. They’re meeting on a regular basis, defining what qualities we’re looking for and what people we might want to consider. Given the events of the last couple of years, it’s not only a priority, but will get more time, more attention, more focus than it did before. We’ve always viewed it as an important decision. But given the fact that I’m not here forever and and we had some difficulties these last couple of years, it’s getting more attention than than it has in the past.”

Bob Iger, Bob Chapek in Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Credit: Disney

Time comments that on the day of his photoshoot for the magazine, Bob Iger was “fresh off a recent round of victories.”

These include the rising Disney stock price, up 9% since he took back the CEO reins, after falling 44% in the 12 months prior; a round of layoffs that included Ike Perlmutter, the executive who sold him Marvel; and the infamous out-maneuvering of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Iger added that “If the governor of Florida wants to meet with me to discuss all of this, of course, I would be glad to do that. You know, I’m one that typically has respected our elected officials and the responsibility that they have, and there would be no reason why I wouldn’t do that.”

bob-iger ceo disney

Credit: Disney

Iger’s dedication for Time was written by Mary Barra, the CEO of GM who is on Disney’s board of directors:

“For 100 years, the Walt Disney Co. has entertained, informed, and inspired people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling. Bob Iger has guided the company to success for nearly two decades and is one of the best leaders I know.

There’s a reason Bob remains one of the world’s most admired CEOs. He has led landmark acquisitions, championed culture-defining films, launched innovative distribution platforms, and delivered strong financial results, all while never forgetting the people—the employees and the fans—who make it all possible. His return as CEO in 2022 ushered in a new era of transformation and creative excellence for the most magical company on earth.

His authenticity and pragmatism set him apart. “True authority and true leadership comes from knowing who you are and not pretending to be anything else,” he said. I’ve personally learned so much from his leadership.”

In a four-minute video on the Time website, Iger also discusses his decades-long career with ABC and Disney and how Disney’s values – and the magic at its core – keep it going.

We just hope the next Walt Disney Company CEO will keep those values and magic alive. 

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who has worked at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Adventures by Disney! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her husband, an Air Force pilot. Find her children's book at