Former Disney CEO Bets Big on Future of Evolving Metaverse

Photo courtesy of Bob Iger Twitter

Former Disney CEO Bets Big on Future of Evolving Metaverse

By Movieguide® Contributor

Former Disney CEO Robert Iger has joined the growing “metaverse” by investing in an avatar-centered start-up company.

“I’m being entrepreneurial at this point in my life,” he said of the venture.

Iger now sits on the board of Los Angeles-based Genies Inc., founded in 2017 by Akash Nigam, a 29-year-old entrepreneur. According to the Wall Street Journal, Genies Inc. “offers tools for making virtual characters, clothing and accessories backed by nonfungible tokens. NFTs are considered an integral part of what many see as the next big wave of tech innovation dubbed Web 3.0 or Web3.”

An article from the WSJ reported that Iger “…was attracted to Genies because he believes the ability for anyone to easily create and sell virtual goods will change the entertainment industry and be a key component of the metaverse, a term used to describe developing virtual worlds where people are expected to work, learn and socialize.”

It seems Iger has had his next move after Disney planned for some time.

The WSJ reported:

Mr. Iger, 71 years old, met with about two dozen startup executives before making his investments and becoming one of five directors on Genies’ board, he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “I was particularly interested in companies that were using technology for disruptive purposes and, where possible, the intersection between technology and creativity,” he said. 

Iger has the time and money to spend on taking risks in the so-called metaverse. According to the Wall Street Journal, when Iger left Disney at the end of last year, he brought  $45.9 million in total compensation, including a $3 million base salary, a $22.9 million cash bonus and stock and options awards worth $18.8 million.

Movieguide®, previously reported on Iger’s replacement, Bob Chapek:

“Bob Iger has built Disney into the most admired and successful media and entertainment company, and I have been lucky to enjoy a front-row seat as a member of his leadership team,” Chapek said. “I share his commitment to creative excellence, technological innovation and international expansion, and I will continue to embrace these same strategic pillars going forward. Everything we have achieved thus far serves as a solid foundation for further creative storytelling, bold innovation and thoughtful risk-taking.”

Iger’s latest accomplishment is the launch of Disney+, which rapidly became the most downloaded app in the 2019 fourth quarter.

“The launch of Disney+ has been enormously successful, exceeding even our greatest expectation,” Iger told investors at the time.