Sep 13, 2019

Disney CEO resigns from Apple board as streaming wars heat up

Disney CEO Bob Iger. Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned from Apple's board on Tuesday, according to SEC paperwork filed on Friday by Apple.

Why it matters: Presumably, he left due to conflict of interest. Both Disney and Apple are expected to launch rival video streaming subscription services this November.

Details: Apple didn't provide any information about the reason for Iger's departure, but Iger has referenced the conflict in the past.

  • Iger told Bloomberg TV in April that he was careful to recuse himself from Apple board meetings when streaming was mentioned.
    • "That business is still nascent to Apple and still relatively small," he said at the time. "It's not really discussed all that much."

Background: Iger joined the Apple board in 2011, shortly after the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. At the time, Apple wasn't really working on content or video services, and was focused mostly on selling hardware, like iPhones and Macbooks.

Be smart: While the 2 services are quite different and serve fundamentally separate purposes, both companies will likely compete against each other for subscription budgets, talent and content deals.

This isn't the first time executives have had to shuffle board slots to make way for the streaming wars.

  • In April, Facebook said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings would resign from its board. Reports suggested that Hasting's departure was in part attributed to the fact that Facebook was beginning to build its own video business that could in some ways rival Netflix's.

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