Longtime Disney CEO Bob Iger recently returned to Disney after two years of retirement, and he’s already saying no about a potential takeover by Apple.
Disney abruptly fired former CEO Bob Chapek this month and replaced the handpicked Bob Iger replacement with Bob Iger. Disney has tasked the 71-year-old with leading the company for two years during the search for a new CEO. Iger previously led Disney for two decades.
The returning CEO held his first town hall meeting with Disney employees today. During the town hall, Iger reportedly addressed rumors that Apple and Disney could potentially reach a merger agreement and operate as one company. Iger previously served on Apple’s board for years before exiting after Apple started competing with Disney on original video content.
Iger dismissed any talk of Apple and Disney merging during the company meeting. While there haven’t been actual media reports of Apple and Disney potentially joining forces under one roof, there was the usual talk from certain analysts that the scenario made sense.
“Apple should buy…” [struggling company] is frequently a bright idea that analysts have when a company adjacent to Apple underperforms in some way. Disney, however, is astronomically far from the size of any company Apple has taken over.
Its most recent acquisition was Beats for $3 billion in 2014, which included the foundation for the Apple Music subscription service. Famously, Apple bought Steve Jobs’ NeXT when Apple itself was struggling to stay afloat. That deal brought the Apple co-founder back to the company that led to the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
As for Disney, Bob Iger calls any talk of Apple buying the company “pure speculation” for now.
“Offering his perspective from being outside the company last year after decades at Disney, Iger told staffers additionally that rumors of a merger or deal with Apple were just that – rumors,” according to Deadline. “The man who bought Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Fox for Disney during his last stint as CEO also noted that the House of Mouse wasn’t looking to make any more big ticket acquisitions any time soon.”
That’s pure speculation that will probably be speculated about for the rest of the time. Apple has passed on a number of up-and-coming or down-and-out companies over the years including Netflix, Tesla, and Peloton – regardless of what analysts might dream up.
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