Disney CEO Releases Memoir

By Robin Roger, September 23, 2019
Bob Iger ’73 appears on GMA on the eve of his book’s release.

This morning Ithaca College alumnus Bob Iger ’73 appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to share his leadership philosophy and discuss his new memoir: “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.”

Published by Random House, the book shares the ideas and values that Iger embraced to reinvent Disney when he joined the company in 2005. Since then, Disney has acquired Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox, and its net income has increased by more than 400%. In the book, Iger also shares the principles he says are necessary for true leadership: optimism, courage, decisiveness and fairness.

“The ideas in this book strike me as universal,” Iger writes. “Not just to the aspiring CEOs of the world, but to anyone wanting to feel less fearful, more confidently themselves, as they navigate their professional and even personal lives.”

man in front of projection screen

Bob Iger ’73 spoke at Ithaca College’s 125th celebration at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. (Photo by Jacob Lifschultz ’13/Ithaca College)

Iger talked with Robin Roberts about his humble beginnings 45 years ago, working as a studio supervisor at ABC on shows like AM America (the precursor to Good Morning America) and ABC Sports, never expecting he’d have the opportunity to run one of the greatest companies in the world.

“It seems like an out of body experience,” he says. “I’m deeply appreciative. I try to remain humble … I love what I do. I love the people I work with. I love the ride of a lifetime that I’ve had.”

As part of the segment, Robin Roberts played a clip of Iger as a student reporter on ICTV.

“Bob Iger is an amazing example of how an Ithaca College experience can provide the foundation for a purposeful, successful life,” said President Shirley M. Collado. "We are so proud of him and forever grateful that he keeps Ithaca College close to his heart."

On Sunday, The New York Times published a piece on Iger by Maureen Dowd titled “The Slow-Burning Success of Disney's Bob Iger.” In it, she mentions how the hard-working Iger earned spending money as a student making pizza at Pizza Hut and worked as a weather man.