Many Hollywood chiefs have found it impossible to say no to making more movies. Iger saw that Disney-branded family movies were a far more dependable source of profit than those aimed at adults — especially when they yield toys and other merchandise. After building a massive production and distribution system, Iger told investors last month, Disney executives had been churning out more movies, including many aimed at grown-ups, to justify the capital expense.
Iger's executives also credit him with dismantling operating silos that divided the company and hindered cooperation.
One example is in its international business, which Iger has cited as a top priority. No other country is as crucial as China, and Iger has redoubled efforts to get that government's approval for a second theme park there, in Shanghai.
Disney's chief of international strategy, Andy Bird, convinced Iger that the Broadway hit "The Lion King" should favorably impress Chinese officials — if Disney's live entertainment unit could get it to Shanghai and adapt the show culturally.
"That was literally one conversation," Bird said, and Iger made it happen.