As the House of Mouse continues to sink thanks to poor decision after poor decision, a new report suggests that a number of current and former Disney executives believe CEO Bob Iger has no interest in actually saving the company, but rather ultimately hopes to keep it afloat just long enough to sell it off to Apple.

White Vision (Paul Bettany) recalls the memory of his former self in WandaVision Season 1 Episode 9 "The Series Finale" (2021), Marvel Entertainment via Disney Plus

White Vision (Paul Bettany) recalls the memory of his former self in WandaVision Season 1 Episode 9 “The Series Finale” (2021), Marvel Entertainment via Disney Plus

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This insight into the supposed sentiment felt amongst the upper levels of Disney’s corporate structure was first detailed to the public courtesy of CNBC’s Alex Sherman.

Speaking with “more than a dozen past and present Disney executives” as part of a deep-dive analysis into Iger’s disastrous return as CEO, Sherman discovered that many within the company privately “believe Iger’s desired end game is to stay as CEO for as long as possible and then sell the company to Apple.”

Bob Iger attends the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood CA on Thursday, April 27, 2023.(Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

Bob Iger attends the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood CA on Thursday, April 27, 2023. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

Admittedly, such a deal sounds like nothing more than a pipe dream borne from overconfident Wall Street analysts.

However, such a possibility should not be ruled out, as not only has Iger begun to seek outside investment for the Disney-0wned ESPN, but both the company and its current CEO have enjoyed long-standing relationships with the popular tech developer.

King Mickey (Chris Diamantopoulos) and Riku (David Gallagher) wish Sora (Haley Joel Osment) the best of luck in Kingdom Hearts 3 (2019), Square Enix

King Mickey (Chris Diamantopoulos) and Riku (David Gallagher) wish Sora (Haley Joel Osment) the best of luck in Kingdom Hearts 3 (2019), Square Enix

Thanks to an investment of roughly $5 million into the fledgling company, late Apple founder Steve Jobs was appointed the chairman of Pixar Animation’s board of directors.

He would hold this position – as well as that of Pixar’s CEO and, at one point, sole owner – until the esteemed-animation studio’s 2006 acquisition by Disney, at which time his duties were rolled into a seat on the House of Mouse’s board of directors.

From there, Jobs would continue serving as a member of Disney’s board all the way up to his death in 2011.

RED ALERT – In Disney and Pixar’s all-new original feature film “Turning Red,” 13-year-old Mei Lee “poofs” into a giant panda when she gets too excited (which for a teenager is practically ALWAYS). This unfortunate new reality for the teenager lands her in a multitude of awkward situations. Featuring Rosalie Chiang as the voice of Mei Lee, “Turning Red” will debut exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) on March 11, 2022. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

It would be during the organization of this deal that Iger would strike up a friendship with Jobs.

“Steve and I had become good friends since we’d made the Pixar deal,” the CEO recounted to Vanity Fair in September 2019. “We socialized on occasion and talked a few times a week. We vacationed at adjacent Hawaiian hotels a few times and would meet and take long walks on the beach, talking about our wives and kids, about music, about Apple and Disney and the things we might still do together. Our connection was much more than a business relationship. We enjoyed each other’s company immensely, and we felt we could say anything to each other, that our friendship was strong enough that it was never threatened by candor.”

(The two were so close, in fact, that Jobs texted Iger immediately after taking his son to watch Iron Man 2 to let the Disney boss know that “it sucked”.)

Disney and Pixar’s all-new ELEMENTAL features the voices of Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as Ember and Wade, respectively. In a city where fire-, water-, land-, and air-residents live together, this fiery young woman and go-with-the-flow guy are about to discover something elemental: how much they actually have in common. “Elemental” is directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

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However, as far as Iger is publicly concerned, such a sale is not currently at the forefront of Disney’s forward-looking outlook.

Asked during the company’s recent Q3 2023 earnings call whether “you see a plausible scenario where the entire company would be sold?”, the CEO asserted, “I just am not going to speculate about the potential for Disney to be acquired by any company, whether a technology company or not.”

“Obviously, anyone who want to speculate about these things would have to immediately consider the global regulatory environment,” he added. “I’ll say no more than that. It’s just — it’s not something that we obsess about.”

Vision (Paul Bettany) prepares to unlock the 'soul' of his animated corpse in WandaVision Season 1 Episode 9 "The Series Finale" (2021), Marvel Entertainment via Disney Plus

Vision (Paul Bettany) prepares to unlock the ‘soul’ of his reanimated corpse in WandaVision Season 1 Episode 9 “The Series Finale” (2021), Marvel Entertainment via Disney Plus

To that end, as seen with Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to acquire Call of Duty and World of Warcraft developer Activision Blizzard, it’s likely that a sale of Disney to Apple – or to anyone, for that matter – would be subject to intense anti-monopoly scrutiny.

Though it’s possible that the entire process would eventually result in a favorable decision to both companies, the potential legal headaches and uphill battles that this deal would entail could be enough to dissuade either entity from even entertaining the idea of acquisition.

King Mickey (Chris Diamantopoulos) receives a call from Sora (Haley Joel Osment) in Kingdom Hearts 3 (2019), Square Enix

King Mickey (Chris Diamantopoulos) receives a call from Sora (Haley Joel Osment) in Kingdom Hearts 3 (2019), Square Enix

As of writing, neither Disney nor Iger have publicly commented on Sherman’s report.

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.