Chief Executive Leadership Institute to Honor Walt Disney CEO Robert A. Iger with Leadership Award
New Haven, Conn., June 5, 2009 — Walt Disney Company President and CEO Robert A. Iger will accept the "Legend in Leadership Award" of the Yale School of Management Chief Executive Leadership Institute at a ceremony to be held June 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.
The award will be presented at the 59th gathering of the Yale CEO Summit of The Chief Executive Leadership Institute, the nation’s first CEO college.
The award will be presented to Mr. Iger by Verizon Communications Chairman and CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg, a past recipient of the "Legend in Leadership Award."
Robert A. Iger is the sixth CEO in The Walt Disney Company’s 83-year history; he was appointed to this post on October 1, 2005.
Previously, Mr. Iger served as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Walt Disney Company, a position he had held since June, 2000. In this role, he oversaw all aspects of the company’s worldwide operations including its filmed entertainment, theme parks and resorts, media networks and consumer products businesses. Mr. Iger also became a member of Disney’s board of directors at this time.
Mr. Iger began his career at ABC in 1974. Over the last 32 years, he has held a series of increasingly responsible senior management positions at the company, including serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of Capital Cities/ABC, where he guided the complex merger of ABC with The Walt Disney Company. ABC saw tremendous growth during Iger’s career there, becoming a market leader in broadcast television network and stations, radio, publishing and cable television businesses, which includes the market leading brands of ABC, ESPN, Lifetime, A&E, and The History Channel. He officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and in 1999, was given the additional responsibility of president, Walt Disney International.
Conference organizer, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean of the Yale School of Management, commented: "Bob Iger has brought a decentralized entrepreneurial zeal that has embraced new technologies and which has ignited Disney imagination in ways that would have thrilled Walt Disney, let alone ABC TV founder Leonard Goldenson. Mickey Mouse was launched eighty years ago, on the eve of the Great Stock Market Crash. Snow White and other animated film classics flourished through the Great Depression as reminders of the triumphs of imagination, technology, imagination, and public hope possible in hard times. Bob Iger has kept that spark alive across media and across continents."
The CEO Summit will be held on Tuesday, June 9 at the New York Stock Exchange. While the discussions of the CEO Summit are off-the-record, the press is invited to attend the “Legend in Leadership Award” presentation to Mr. Iger at the NYSE, 18 Broad Street, at 6:00 p.m., and a reception immediately to follow on the Trading Floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The conference umbrella theme is "Ensuring Happy Days Are Here Again: Finding Prosperity in Hard Times." Distinguished global corporate leaders from across industries will engage in lively, candid discussions with government officials, judges, and scholars at this invitation-only leaders’ conference hosted by the Yale School of Management.
Sonnenfeld explained the value of this semi-annual gathering: "We pioneered the field of CEO learning over 59 summit conferences and twenty years ago when we created the first school for incumbent CEOs. Top leaders can atrophy in high office to the detriment of all of society. We are so pleased to be able to continue to serve several thousand knowledge-seeking, reflective top leaders from around the world, for candid, peer-driven learning."
Among the conference participants are: former Colgate-Palmolive Chairman Reuben Mark; NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan L. Niederauer; Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeffrey L. Bewkes; U.S. Under Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter; Consul General of India, Prabhu Dayal; Pfizer CEO Jeffrey B. Kindler; JetBlue founder David Neeleman; J. Crew Chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler; former Goldman Sachs CEO John Whitehead; and Tupperware CEO Rick Goings, among many others.
The conference sponsors are Alvarez & Marsal, CNBC, Deloitte LLP, North Highland, NYSE Euronext, and Russell Reynolds Associates.
Past winners of the "Legend in Leadership Award" include: J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon; Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman; The Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus; Vanguard founder Jack Bogle; McKinsey founder Marvin Bower; financier Albert H. Gordon; PepsiCo’s Roger Enrico; Coca-Cola’s Don Keough; Jim Kelly of UPS; Richard Teerlink of Harley-Davidson; Staples founder Tom Stemberg; Charlotte Beers of J. Walter Thompson; catalog retailer Lillian Vernon; Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson; entertainment entrepreneur and producer Quincy Jones; Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. of Kohler Co.; and financier, entrepreneur, and financial/regulator William Donaldson.
The Chief Executive Leadership Institute is part of the Yale School of Management. It was founded in 1989 to provide original research on leadership and lively, current educational forums through peer-driven learning for accomplished leaders across sectors. To learn more about the CELI, visit: http://celi.som.yale.edu/.
For an interview with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, or to register for the Legend in Leadership Award presentation ceremony or the reception on the floor the NYSE, contact Tabitha Wilde, 203-432-6010; firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bonnie Blake: 203-915-4783; email@example.com.