Bob Iger Was in Advanced Talks for Key Role at RedBird Capital Prior to Returning as Disney CEO

According to Variety, prior to returning as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger was negotiating a big new role at Gerry Cardinale’s investment firm RedBird Capital Partners.

What’s Happening:

  • RedBird was hashing out an overarching sports and media portfolio for Iger to oversee. The gig would have given Iger significant financial resources to help shape the media landscape, the individuals familiar with the deal added.
  • The firm has recently brought cash infusements and scale playbooks to such Hollywood companies as LeBron James’ Springhill Entertainment, David Ellison’s Skydance, the Fenway Sports Group, and, as of Sunday, a new equitable movie studio launched by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
  • Last week, when Skydance Sports announced a new content production partnership with the National Football League, rumors swirled that Iger would somehow be involved via this new RedBird gig.
  • News of Iger’s return to Disney began trickling out on Thursday in the highest corporate circles, insiders said.
  • “At the end of the day, he’d rather be a CEO than an entrepreneur,” one source close to the investment world said of Iger.
  • It’s unclear how the esteemed executive’s 11th-hour return to his post at Disney was digested by the folks at RedBird, but having the CEO of Disney as a friend will certainly not hurt their cause as they look to expand into more creative spaces.

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