Apple and Disney go way back. Steve Jobs sat on Disney’s board until his passing in 2011. And it’s not a secret that Jobs and Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, were close friends.
As a result of that relationship, Iger also sits on Apple’s board and has done so for years. But, according to Bloomberg, that time may be coming to an end. The report indicates that the two companies may be competing before the end of 2019, and it all comes down to the upcoming streaming service Apple is launching this year. As a result of that impending launch, Iger’s seat on Apple’s board may be “at risk”.
“They might have to recognize that they will become active competitors in the near future,” said John Coffee, director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School. He suspects both companies have legal advisers looking into whether Iger should remain on Apple’s board.”
Of course, Iger has said nice things about Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO. And the same can be said for Cook commenting on Iger, who has said the Disney CEO runs the Mouse House like a tech company:
“Iger and Cook have also praised each other, with Cook saying Iger runs Disney like a tech company and Iger complimenting Cook’s leadership.”
Iger losing his spot on Apple’s board would be an interesting loss, if for no other reason than the longevity that Iger has held there. And while some people might see Apple’s upcoming streaming service, which is said to debut on March 25, as a competitor to Disney+, that seems like a pretty big leap to make. Even if you discount the rumors of delays and executive meddling, Apple’s available content (while promising) is going to be remarkably limited compared to what Disney has to offer.
And that doesn’t even include the planned series coming to Hulu if Disney’s acquisition of Fox goes through.