Bob Iger recently gave an interview on the podcast Masters of Scale, hosted by Reid Hoffman about the creation of the Shanghai Disney Resort, the acquisition of 20th Century Fox and maintaining a balanced ecosystem consisting of different brands.

  • This is the second part of Iger’s interview with Hoffman. Earlier this month, he discussed his days leading up to CEO at Disney, and the important steps in the acquisitions he made.
  • In this episode, Iger first talks about the importance of balancing their different brands like Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and others, explaining that consumers don’t want to see Avengers labeled as a Disney film but are completely fine with going to a Disney park and seeing a Marvel presence.
  • Interestingly, Iger mentions that Avengers Campus is being built at Disneyland Resort and says it will open when the park does. However, we know from the recent reopening announcement that the new land will not open until later this year.
  • Iger then gets into Shanghai Disney Resort a little, “when you talk about growing in China, how do you do it? And Michael [Eisner] and I both knew that building a theme park, while only, I don’t know, 12-15 people may go through in a given year, in that one, which is tiny when you look at the whole population base, but the experience it creates is so immersive, so powerful, so long-lasting that it would have a major halo impact on the perception of Disney and the brand.”
  • In other words, Iger and Disney used Shanghai Disneyland to build a love for Disney movies and their brands, strengthening the perception of the company as a whole in China.
  • Iger also talked a bit about the importance of incorporating Chinese culture in the new resort, saying “take Disney and give it to the world. Well, in many respects, we do have a brand and stories that can do that, but desire to own and control your own culture and pride in culture is enormous still. Maybe even bigger because of the incursion of other cultures into these markets.”
  • Finally, Iger discussed the massive acquisition of 20th Century Fox.
  • Iger talks about managing the different brands they acquired in this transaction and leads into a discussion about Disney+ and their investment in the streaming game.

About the Podcast:

  • Masters of Scale is an original podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and investor at Greylock. In each episode, Reid shows how companies grow from zero to a gazillion, testing his theories with legendary leaders. Masters of Scale is the first American media program to commit to gender balance for guests.

About the Episode:

  • “From Pixar to Marvel to Lucasfilm, Disney's Bob Iger defied expectations, acquiring world-renowned brands and meshing them seamlessly with the House of Mouse. In Part 2 of our epic conversation with Iger – Disney's executive chair and former CEO – we delve into the next phase of the process, how he helped build a diverse, sustainable ecosystem for Disney companies in the China market, and how all the lessons learned played out in the massive acquisition of 20th Century Fox.”

You can check out the full Bob Iger episode here.