Random House has set a September 23 date to publish The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. That is the leadership and management book that Disney chief Bob Iger wrote with Joel Lovell. According to RH, Iger will “share the ideas, strategies, and values he has used to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world.”
North American rights for this book were acquired by Andy Ward, SVP Editor in Chief at Random House in 2017 from Esther Newberg at ICM Partners.
No Hollywood exec has flourished more in an historically unprecedented period of disruption in Hollywood than Iger. His shrewd acquisitions of Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel would have been enough for some, but it was a warmup to his recent efforts of buying 21st Century Fox, and then Hulu, and setting a November launch for the studio’s groundbreaking streaming service, Disney +.
The disruption has largely taken a major studio off the board in Fox and created a monolith in the process, so some of that “beloved” stuff won’t be considered a universal sentiment, not as thousands lose their jobs. But give Iger credit: the friendship he forged with Steve Jobs led to the Pixar acquisition. And Paramount would be sitting pretty if it had bought Marvel, or Lucasfilm when it was in business with that company on the Indiana Jones films. And if Iger hadn’t stepped up to buy Fox from Rupert Murdoch, Comcast or one of his other rivals surely would have.
The book covers the lessons Iger learned along the way from a modest start 45 years ago as a studio supervisor at ABC, to now. He’ll donate proceeds from the book to educational initiatives aimed at fostering more diversity in the field of journalism.
“Over nearly fifteen years,” Iger writes, “I’ve had the privilege of running one of the world’s most well-known and admired companies, interacting with countless creative geniuses, innovators, and enthusiastic, motivated employees – and all during a time of great challenge and opportunity, and I think I’ve learned a lot about what real leadership is. But I couldn’t have articulated all of this until I lived it. You can’t fake it–and that’s one of the key lessons in this book.”