Business, Politics & Society

Navigating Complex Deals: 21st Century Fox Case Study

Bob Iger

Lesson time 14:24 min

The process to acquire 21st Century Fox was complicated and time-consuming. Bob walks you through the deal and explains the challenges.

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Bob Iger
Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership
Disney CEO Bob Iger teaches you the leadership skills and strategies he used to reimagine the future of one of the world’s most beloved brands.
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- Sometimes, your whole life boils down to one insane move. [MUSIC PLAYING] - I've known Rupert Murdoch for a long time, and although we've competed with one another over the years, we've also had a mutual respect for one another. And at times, we get together just to talk about the business and to share our insights. And such a time occurred in 2017, when I got a phone call from Rupert asking me to come to his home in Los Angeles just to have a chat. And I sat down with him, and for an hour, we talked about the business and the changes that we saw happening in the business, the various challenges that we were both seeing, and essentially compared notes a bit just about the dynamics of the business that we were operating in and how different it was from the business that we had been in over the years. And when I left, it seemed clear to me that he was sending a signal of sorts. And so I called him some time later and inquired as to whether he was, in fact, open-minded about possibly doing a deal that would result in us acquiring certain 21st Century Fox-- the company that he ran-- assets, and he said that he was open to it. And so, over the course of a few weeks, we developed a blueprint in terms of which assets of the 21st Century Fox Company we should acquire because they would fit into our strategy and work well in terms of what we want to accomplish in the future, and which ones we could acquire from a regulatory perspective. [MUSIC PLAYING] When Rupert and I sat down in the summer of 2017, it was just two months after I had met with the Disney board and outlined for them a new strategy for the company to move into the direct-to-consumer business, so that when Rupert and I first started exploring buying the assets of 21st Century Fox that we ultimately acquired, we did so with the knowledge that those assets would serve our new interests well and would complement, and fit into, and enable the strategy that we were getting ready to deploy for the company. I felt, if we were going into the direct-to-consumer space, that we needed more content creation capabilities. We had a lot at the company, but this would increase the amount of content we could create. It also came with brands that I thought would have real value in a direct-to-consumer world, led by National Geographic, but even including sub-brands like the Simpsons, or FX, or Fox Searchlight. It also would come with a huge treasure trove of content that we could ultimately include in our various direct-to-consumer services and monetize in new, more modern ways. And in addition, we've been interested, since the time I became CEO, of growing internationally and penetrating certain markets far more effectively or more deeply than we had in the past. And one of the more attractive elements of this acquisition was the international assets of the 21st Century Fox businesses, and notably across Europe, and in India and Southeast Asia. [MUSI...


Embrace risk, build resilience

In an era of disruption, Disney CEO Bob Iger led one of the world’s most beloved brands to unprecedented success with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Now, through case studies and lessons from 45 years in media, Bob teaches you how to evolve your business and career. Learn Bob’s strategies for expanding a brand, leading with integrity, and making big moves—from risk management to the art of negotiation.



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