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Bob Iger has been the CEO of Disney for over a decade, and made $41 million for his trouble last year, but that doesn’t mean he made it to his dream job.
In fact, on a recent Vanity Fair podcast, Iger shared that in his early 20s, he made the decision to abandon the career he’d set his sights on.
In college, Iger did a fair amount of TV work, and immediately after he got a job at a small TV station in Ithaca, New York, as a weatherman. His ultimate goal was to become the next Walter Cronkite, he said. But Iger had a moment of realization, “quite an epiphany actually at that point,” that he didn’t have the confidence or the ability to pull it off.
“At the ripe old age of 23, I decided to redirect,” Iger said. He decided to go behind the camera instead, and work his way up that side of the TV business.
After Iger abandoned his Cronkite dream, he didn’t set any “particularly lofty goal,” nor has he really had one since. For Iger, his career progression was about proving himself in the job he was given. Once he did that, he would set his sights on the next one. Iger had ambition, he just didn’t know where that ambition would eventually take him, he said.
Now we know it took him to the top of one of the most beloved companies in the world.And who knows, someday it might even take him to the White House. Rumors have been swirling that Iger has at least thought about a run for the presidency, though he’s been mum on the matter, and deflected questions.