Entertainment

Disney's Bob Iger is named Time's businessperson of the year

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Key Points
  • In the last 12 months, Iger has closed a $71 billion acquisition of Fox, opened two Star Wars theme park lands, launched streaming service Disney+, gained complete control of Hulu and released the highest-grossing movie in cinematic history.
  • Shares of Disney are up more than 30% this year.

The massively successful launch of Disney+ and a record $10 billion in global box office sales helped make Disney CEO Bob Iger businessperson of the year, Time magazine says.

"Iger's tenure as the leader of the world's most lucrative dream factory has been one long CEO highlight reel," Belinda Luscombe wrote in her article for Time. "But 2019 was an apex year, when many of his carefully incubated eggs hatched."

In the last 12 months, Iger closed a $71 billion acquisition of Fox, opened two Star Wars theme parks, launched streaming service Disney+, gained complete control of Hulu and released the highest-grossing movie in cinematic history, "Avengers Endgame."

Shares of the company are up 30% since January.

Iger has been at the helm of Disney since 2005 and has laid the groundwork for this impressive year.

"In 2006, he made a $7.4 billion deal to buy Pixar from a guy who hated Disney," Luscombe wrote. "Then he bought Marvel, a company built on the mercurial fantasies of adolescent males, then Lucasfilm, when the Star Wars stories seemed burned out."

So far this year, Disney has released six of the eight highest-grossing films of 2019. Included among those titles were two Marvel films, a Pixar film, and there's little doubt that Disney's next Star Wars film will soon be added to the list when it is released in theaters next week.

"And in a year when the tide has shifted against Big Business, Big Media and Big Tech, Iger has transformed his enormous media company into a gargantuan media and tech business while ensuring that the Walt Disney Co.'s products remain widely beloved," Luscombe wrote.

Time's 2019 Person of the Year is Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who became a global conscience for climate change and environmental activism.

Read the full report from Time.

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