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Since parachuting back into the CEO chair at Disney in November, CEO Bob Iger has taken to appearing in a soft grandpa-style button-down cardigan in place of his sharp suit jacket. But make no mistake — under that aw-shucks, approachable exterior is a chief executive vanquishing a series of enemies like a Jedi Knight.
Mike Bloxham, EVP global media and entertainment at consultancy Magid, said that Iger’s tough management style is simply a sign of the times. As with the rest of Hollywood, streaming is becoming the mothership of Disney, and that business simply has much poorer margins than the traditional linear world that’s being left behind.
“He’s running the same company, but in a very different time,” said Bloxham. “When he was last at the helm Wall Street was encouraging everybody to spend as much money as possible and go for a land grab” in streaming, he added. “That got you a pat on the head; now it gets you a slap on the wrists. When he was last at the helm, money was practically free. He did very well for his company in that era. That time is now gone. Even if he wants to be the Bob Iger of old he can’t be.”