Disney’s Bob Iger says success made him ‘overconfident’

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Recently returned Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed one of the changes he plans to make to his leadership style in his second turn at the head of the company: giving his co-workers a bigger say.

In an interview with CNBC show Squawk on the Street on Thursday, Iger admitted that during his first run as Disney CEO, the company’s successes made him a little insular.

“I felt over time, because of all the experience I gained and the fact that it was a relatively successful run, that I got overconfident in my own instincts and my own decision making,” he said. “I thought it caused me to be a little bit more dismissive of other people’s ideas.”

Iger returned to the helm of the entertainment giant in November—after just 11 months away from the company—agreeing to a two-year contract as CEO.

During his 15-year tenure as CEO, Disney made some of its biggest bets in the company’s history, acquiring Pixar, Marvel, 21stCentury Fox, and Lucasfilm. Under his leadership, Disney’s market capitalization increased fivefold.

Upon returning to the House of Mouse, Iger replaced his successor Bob Chapek—who oversaw Disney through one of its toughest periods thanks to COVID and soaring inflation, but also faced political challenges and cultural issues and was in charge when the company recorded disappointing financial results and a tumbling share price.

In Thursday’s interview, Iger told CNBC’s David Faber he was returning to the role with “a lot of self-awareness.”

Less than 24 hours after being reinstated as Disney CEO, Iger told the company’s media and entertainment employees that he would be putting “more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams.”

“I have a great team of people in place,” he said on Thursday. “I extended some of their responsibilities yesterday. I’m an optimist at heart—I feel great about where the company is today and where I believe we’ll be able to take it.”

Earlier this week, Disney announced it would be undergoing a dramatic restructuring that will involve laying off 7,000 employees.

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