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Walt Disney Co.’s Bob Iger would consider a role in the administration of incoming U.S. President Joe Biden, if the right position came along.
“Giving back in some fashion -- serving our country in some fashion -- is certainly something that I would consider seriously,” Iger, 69, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV with the Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein. “But a lot of it would depend on what it is, what the opportunity is, and whether I thought it would be something that I would both be stimulated by and be good at.”
Iger’s name hasn’t come up on any short list of Biden nominees, and it’s unlikely he’d leave Disney now -- given the strain the company is facing with theme parks and movie theaters closed or operating at reduced capacity due to the coronavirus.
The executive stepped down as CEO of the world’s largest entertainment company in February. Currently Disney’s executive chairman, he’s due to leave the company entirely in December of next year.
Iger said he’s “had some feelers” from private equity firms looking to hire him. “I’ve not made any decisions about what I do next,” he said. “There’s a whole world out there, and I still have a lot of energy and a huge amount of curiosity.”
Iger considered a run for president of the U.S., but ultimately dropped those plans and went on to engineer Disney’s largest acquisition ever -- the US$71 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets -- a deal the company completed last year.
“You don’t consider running for president without being a true idealist,” Iger said. “It takes a lot of idealism to generate the emotional energy and probably the physical energy, too, to do something like that, to even think that it’s possible. But at some point, realism sets in as well, and must set in.”
In the interview, Iger also said a businessperson might have a difficult time winning a nomination for president in the current Democratic Party.
“I was seriously considering it,” Iger said. “But I’m not sure I would have gotten as far as actually running. I was starting to think more and more about how difficult the path might be in the Democratic Party for a businessman to actually get the nomination.”
Biden, who is set take office Jan. 20, has already named a number of cabinet picks, including his nominees for treasury secretary and secretary of state. Iger has from time to time participated in governmental advisory positions. He was a sizable contributor to Biden’s campaign.
He serves on the board of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, part of Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg’s charitable arm.