Disney CEO Bob Iger put long-running rumors to rest that he is not considering a run for president in the upcoming election. Author and presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin was interviewing the executive at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on Tuesday. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Iger made it clear that he had no plans to make a presidential bid, echoing statements that he has made in the past.
“You mentioned my running for president. I’m not doing that. It’s off the table. I’m running the Walt Disney Co,” he told Kearns Goodwin.
He also noted that though he was being interviewed by a presidential historian, it didn’t mean that he had any ambitions for the office. He called the fact that Kearns Goodwin was interviewing him a “coincidence.”
That doesn’t mean that the CEO isn’t interested in politics. During the interview, he asked the author how she thinks we can address the current political climate.
“If feels as though we’re more polarized than since perhaps the Civil War. What changes that?” he said.
Kearns Goodwin replied that voters need to recognize that the current system isn’t “healthy,” while still accepting that citizens must act. They can’t be “wallowing” in how sad they feel.
Rumors that Iger has been eyeing the presidential office have been swirling for some time. In March of 2017, reports emerged that he had been urged by people to run for office in 2020. In April of this year, Iger put those rumors to rest. He noted that his wife was against a run because of the impact it would have on their family.
Kearns Goodwin spent most of the interview discussing Iger’s managerial style. The CEO has been noted for the big acquisitions that Disney has made under his guidance, including a recent purchase of the 21st Century Fox assets, which was announced earlier this week. Kearns Goodwin asked him about his philosophy on risk.
“If you’re going to fail, fail daring greatly,” Iger told her. “In this day in age, if you’re timid, if you’re not capable of taking risks, you’re not going to enjoy success or create success for your company.”
He also advocated for being a positive leader.
“The ability to project optimism is one of the most powerful tools a leader can have,” he said.
Iger has never held public office or served in the military. He is under contract to run Disney until July 2019.