Former Disney CEO says Pixar was his best-ever acquisition
Bob Iger may have formally stepped down as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, but his legacy is set to live on for decades, with his time at the helm of the ship bringing unprecedented growth and expansion that’s put the Mouse House in a position to dominate the pop culture landscape for a long time to come.
Under Iger’s watch, Disney completed the acquisitions of Lucasfilm, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Fox, while also increasing its stake in Hulu, laying the foundations for Disney Plus, and mining the back catalogue of animated classics as the inspiration for a succession of live-action blockbusters that have yielded billions upon billions of box office dollars.
Iger had only been CEO for two months when it was revealed Disney would be taking over Pixar in a $7.4 billion deal, almost twice as much as had been paid for either Lucasfilm or Marvel. Despite this, the veteran executive admitted to CNBC that the animation powerhouse was his shrewdest business decision.
“I’m proud of a lot of the decisions that were made. Certainly, the acquisitions – I’d say of all of them – Pixar, because it was the first. And it put us on the path to achieving what I wanted to achieve, which is scale when it comes to storytelling. That was probably the best….What I wanted to do more than anything is, I wanted to send a signal to everybody at Disney that it was a new day, that we were more open-minded about expansion, in particular about partnerships. That creativity was the most important strategy for the company. And Pixar, at that point, exemplified original storytelling and quality and creativity at in its highest form.”
Pixar had always been loosely tied to Disney, but the decision to merge the monolithic entities together has made the house that Walt built an absolute fortune in theatrical, merchandising and theme park revenue, while the quality of the studio’s output hasn’t dropped in the slightest. He may have snaffled Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s interesting to hear Iger holds Pixar in the highest regard.