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Disney CEO Bob Iger, Who Took Over Steve Jobs’ Seat, Resigns From Apple’s Board

September 13, 2019, 10:21 PM UTC

Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned from Apple’s board of directors earlier this week, Apple noted in a SEC filing the company made Friday.

The timing of Iger’s departure from Apple’s board comes as both the tech giant and the entertainment monolith both prepare to launch video streaming services this fall. The services, named Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus, appear to be in direct competition in the streaming video market.

“It has been an extraordinary privilege to have served on the Apple board for 8 years, and I have the utmost respect for Tim Cook, his team at Apple, and for my fellow board members,” Iger said in a statement. “Apple is one of the world’s most admired companies, known for the quality and integrity of its products and its people, and I am forever grateful to have served as a member of the company’s board.”

Iger’s resignation is not a surprise, though it came on Sept. 10, the day Apple announced the price and release date for Apple TV Plus. Apple’s streaming service will be available starting Nov. 1 for $4.99 a month. Meanwhile, Disney’s service, called Disney Plus, will launch days later on Nov. 12 and cost subscribers $6.99 a month.

According to a 2018 SEC filing, Apple paid Iger $382,000 in non-employee compensation (as well as stock awards) for serving as a director. According to Forbes, Iger’s 2019 net worth is estimated to be $690 million.

Iger’s exit from the Apple board is reminiscent of then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigning his seat in 2009. Conflicts of interest, stemming from Google’s entrance into the computer and smartphone markets, made it such that Schmidt had to miss an increasingly large part of Apple’s board meetings.

Similarly, in an April interview with Bloomberg, Iger said that he had recused himself when the Apple board discussed the company’s streaming video initiatives.

Iger was a good friend with late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and established a business partnership between the two companies. Shortly after taking over Disney in 1999, Iger and Jobs penned a deal putting Disney content on Apple’s newly-established iTunes platform.

“Before he died in 2011, Jobs requested that Iger replace him on the Apple board once he was gone—a position the CEO of Disney holds to this day,” Fortune wrote in 2014.

“Occasionally we would stand in front of a whiteboard and talk about ideas,” Iger said of his time with Jobs. “We’d just muse on business. When you think about it, media’s the intersection of content and technology—it’s all about storytelling, like photography and the camera. So we’d talk about that a lot, the intersection between the story and the gadget.”

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Apple TV+ isn’t trying to compete with Netflix. It just wants a bit of your time—Will Apple’s new streaming service mean upside for investors?
—Why your favorite brand names are starting to look like math problems
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