Former Disney CEO Bob Iger Takes Mickey Mouse To The Metaverse


Jthere is a lot of hype surrounding the metaverse, including from the investment world. In this clip from “The Virtual Opportunities Show” on Motley Fool Live, recorded on March 15Motley Fool contributors Demitri Kalogeropoulos, Travis Hoium, Jose Najarro and Rachel Warren discuss the recent moves and investments of disneyit’s (NYSE: DIS) former CEO in the Metaverse.

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Demitri Kalogeropoulos: The former Disney CEO, who served as CEO from around 2005 to the end of 2020, is jumping into the metaverse. He joins the board of a small company called Genies, and it’s his first big career move after retiring from Disney. It’s a small company that makes tools that help you create virtual characters, clothing, and accessories that will be backed by NFTs, non-fungible tokens. Apparently, Iger met about two dozen start-ups before landing on this one, and he’s really excited. He is quoted in the article as saying, “Imagine letting someone buy a Mickey Mouse avatar and customize it in a way that not only we would never have allowed before, but that was hard to do in the physical world. ” I’m trying to imagine what he means by that second part, but I can’t exactly think of that. He must have something in mind, but I can’t think of it. I’m sure there are a lot of cool things that way. I just want to get your thoughts on this, guys. There’s a lot of hype around the metaverse, especially in the world of investing, which isn’t widely used today, but many senior executives at big companies are raving about it, including Nike (NYSE: NKE) and now Disney. So, I’m curious what you think of this decision by the former CEO of Disney.

Travis Houm: I think one thing about it is that it’s part of a number of movements. Looks like he’s made about half a dozen small business investments. Thinking about leaving a company like Disney, Iger doesn’t seem like the person who’s just going to buy an island in the Caribbean and enjoy the mai tais for the rest of his life. He got up at four in the morning to train when he was CEO of Disney. It’s no surprise to hear that he’s going to sit on the board of some small companies that maybe have products related to what Disney has done. He’s always been interested in where Disney is going, not where they are today. It makes a lot of sense to me. Diving into the metaverse, the NFTs, I think makes a lot of sense for a leader like Iger. He can bring a lot of experience to the board. He has this quality of creator of taste. He seems to know the strategy in this space really well, so I like that.

Jose Najarro: Travis, one thing I liked about that was that Iger was obviously at the forefront of Disney, a company that’s huge in a lot of markets or IP products. For someone who has been at the forefront of this market and is now focusing on things like collectible digital worlds to NFTs, I think that says a lot. He’s someone who I think is an intellectual when it comes to digital assets, not in NFTs, but in forms of animations, and he’s trying to bring that into this other world. I think that just goes to show that, hey, it’s probably something we should keep an eye on, maybe not invest in, but it’s something that big people definitely see and there’s a future for now.

Rachel Warren: What’s interesting about this is that we see so much back and forth, does the metaverse have power? Is it just a fad? Will NFTs actually be there? I think when you see a move like this by a guy like Bob Iger, it gives a lot of legitimacy to these technologies and industry trends. There was an article on CNBC (NASDAQ: CMCSA) which had some very interesting quotes from him about his decision to serve on the board of this company. One was, he said, “I’ve always been drawn to the intersection between technology and art, and Genies” which I assume is the name of the company, “offers a unique and compelling to harness the power of this combination to enable new forms of creativity, expression and communication.” The other thing that was interesting was that he was emphasizing this idea that there won’t be just one metaverse. It will not only be Metait’s (NASDAQ:FB), for example, an iteration of the metaverse but that there will be all these different digital worlds that you can explore and that these avatars, like what this company allows people to create, are going to be a really important tool in order to be able to apparently move from one metaverse to another and move from one to another. I’m curious how traveling in the metaverse works. But all that to say, it’s fascinating. On the contrary, it gives more legitimacy to this space. I think people are skeptical when you see something like that. It makes you pause and think, maybe there’s actually a lot more of a long term sustainable trend here, and I for one am really fascinated by this concept of floating between metaverses and not just d to be in one. What will it look like?

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Randi Zuckerberg, former director of market development and spokesperson for Facebook and sister of Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a board member of The Motley Fool. Demitri Kalogeropoulos owns Meta Platforms, Inc., Nike and Walt Disney. Jose Najarro is the owner of Meta Platforms, Inc. and Walt Disney. Rachel Warren has no position in the stocks mentioned. Travis Hoium owns Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns and endorses Meta Platforms, Inc., Nike, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast and recommends the following options: January 2024 Long Calls at $145 on Walt Disney and January 2024 Short Calls at $155 on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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