Skift Take

The election of Donald Trump shows that a CEO can mount a successful run for president, though reality TV stardom also helps. If Bob Iger is serious about a future in politics, we expect Disney to name a successor soon and free him up to focus on campaigning.

After more than 11 years at the helm of The Walt Disney Company, is Bob Iger considering a run for the highest office in the (non-Disney) land?

The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday that Iger, Disney’s chairman and CEO, is being urged by friends to consider challenging President Donald Trump in the next election.

“Sources say Iger has told friends he is considering their nudges that he make a run for president in 2020 as a Democrat,” the story said. Wednesday’s report follows Iger’s comments to the publication in June that “a lot of people” had urged him to go into politics.

“I will not be specific about any office,” Iger, now 66, said last year. “I wouldn’t rule in or rule out … Honestly, I’m interested in politics, I’m interested in giving back in some form, performing some sort of civic duty. But I’m not exploring a run for governor or senator or anything along those lines. I’m focused on running Disney.”

>>Related: A Deep Dive Into Disney’s Competitive Position In Travel

Disney observers have been pondering Iger’s future seriously since last year, when his second-in-command and heir apparent resigned. With no successor yet in sight, Iger’s planned exit in June of 2018 is in question; just last month, he told analysts he was open to extending his term. And in the meantime, he sits on a committee advising Trump on business affairs.

A Disney representative didn’t immediately return a call from Skift asking for comment on the report Wednesday.

So while it’s not clear what Iger’s next step will be — White House run or extra lap with Mickey Mouse — fans and skeptics alike took to social media to express their opinions on the possibility of an Iger run.

There was a mashup of current political messaging with Disney’s famous claim: “Can Iger make America the Happiest Place on Earth?” one Twitter user asked.

One user suggested a new kind of infrastructure plan might be prioritized if Iger were to win an election.

Others referenced iconic Disney attractions and their potential future relevance.

A few users invoked Iger’s run of successful acquisitions in the past several years.

And many, many couldn’t resist jokes about the most famous Disney character of all.

For his part, Iger has been publicly silent on the matter. While certainly not a requirement for a presidential bid — though helpful to the current occupant of the Oval Office — Iger now has a verified Twitter account. He joined the social media platform in January and had, as of Wednesday afternoon, tweeted twice and gained 610 followers.


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Tags: bob iger, disney, politics

Photo credit: Disney CEO Bob Iger is reportedly considering requests that he run for president in 2020. Here, he is shown with Mickey Mouse. Josh Hallett / Flickr

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