On Monday, CEO Robert A. Iger stood outside The Walt Disney Co.'s executive office building and watched as it was renamed in honor of his predecessor, Michael D. Eisner.
The next day, Iger made his own mark on Disney history by announcing the purchase of longtime partner Pixar Animation Studios Inc. for $7.4 billion in stock.
In one bold move this week, Iger showed that he has his own vision for Disney and that he could do what Eisner could not - get along with the mercurial Steve Jobs, Pixar's CEO. The feud nearly scuttled the profitable relationship between the two companies.
It was Disney's biggest deal since Eisner's purchase 11 years ago of Capital Cities/ABC. The $19 billion acquisition brought Iger, then president and chief operating officer of Cap Cities/ABC, to Disney.
Iger spent 20 years sharing power with such strong executives as Eisner and Capital Cities/ABC chairman Tom Murphy. When he ascended to the top spot at Disney last October, some questioned how he would handle being in charge. The Pixar deal served notice that he's not afraid to make big moves.
"There are very few executives who can be a No. 2 guy for 20 years and then suddenly be comfortable making big, empire-changing decisions five months later, and this is one of those guys," said Laura Martin, an analyst with Soleil-Media Metrics, a financial research firm.