Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped down from Apple’s board of directors on Friday, just as the two companies are becoming streaming media competitors.
Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday announced the pricing and features of TV+, the company’s new Netflix (NFLX) competitor. It will cost $4.99 a month, $2 less than Disney’s (DIS) soon-to-be-released Disney+ streaming product. Both TV+ and Disney+ will stream original television shows and movies to subscribers.
It is common for executives to resign from boards when the companies they work for become rivals with the companies they direct. And because the regulatory scrutiny of Silicon Valley is heating up in general, it was good time for the two companies to part ways.
Apple’s board was previously focused on by the Federal Trade Commission for its ties to competitors. Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, stepped down from Apple’s board in 2009 when Google’s Android became a viable competitor to Apple’s iPhone. There were questions raised about the relationship.
In Apple’s past regulatory filings about Iger, the company had noted Apple enters into “arms-length commercial dealings” with Disney. But Apple said it didn’t believe Iger had a “material direct or indirect interest” in those negotiations.
Iger was the chairman of the company’s governance committee at Apple and served on the compensation committee. He is one of the world’s highest-paid CEOs in the world. His total compensation at Disney was $65.6 million last year. The CEO has long been criticized for his high pay, including by Disney heiress Abigail Disney, who has been outspoken about Iger’s compensation.
Iger was paid $125,000 in salary and $250,000 in stock to serve on Apple’s board. At the end of last year, Iger held $11 million worth of Apple’s stock.
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