A tussle over streaming service Disney+ has caused Disney CEO Bob Iger to resign from Apple’s board. Disney+ will be competing with Apple TV.
Iger goes away from Apple
According to an Apple SEC filing on Friday, Bob Iger will no longer serve on board of directors of Apple. He submitted his resignation on September 10. It was the same day that Apple announced its own streaming service, alongside its release date and price. The stocks of both companies refused to move after the announcement.
The reason behind Iger’s ouster was Disney+, the company’s new streaming service which will launch on November 12 this year. It will be competing directly with Apple TV+ service that will launch just days before on November 1.
In a statement released later, Iger said,
“It has been an extraordinary privilege to have served on the Apple board for 8 years, and I have the utmost respect for Tim Cook, his team at Apple, and for my fellow board members.”
He applauded Apple for its products’ integrity and quality as well.
Apple also released a statement commending Iger for his dedication and calling him an inspiration for business leaders. The company said that the Disney CEO has been very generous with Apple and hoped that their relationship with Disney and Iger would continue.
Did Iger have a conflict of interest?
In a proxy filing made earlier in 2019, Apple did not see any serious conflicts because of Iger’s position on the board. It said that the company has several arrangements and business dealings with the Walt Disney Company. It noted,
“Apple does not believe that Mr. Iger has a material direct or indirect interest in any of such commercial dealings.”
Iger has a longstanding relationship with the tech giant. He was a close friend of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder and former CEO. Pixar, another one of Jobs’ companies was also bought by Disney in 2006. Jobs served on the Disney board till 2011. In fact, it was Jobs who wanted Iger to fill his place in the Apple board upon his death. He went on to chair the compensation board as well as the corporate governance committee of the company. Not only this, Disney became one of the biggest pioneers developing apps for iPads and iPhones.
Concerns about competition have made some Apple directors leave the company. The most famous amongst them was Eric Schmidt, the co-founder, and CEO of Google, who left the company because Android directly competed with iOS.