Disney CEO Bob Iger resigns from Apple board as TV battle looms


FILE PHOTO: Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger attends the European premiere of “The Lion King” in London, Britain July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said on Friday Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger had resigned from the company’s board of directors on Sept. 10 as the two companies prepare to take each other on head-to-head in the streaming television business.

Iger departed Apple the same day that the company launched Apple TV+, a $4.99-per-month service that will start in November and is filled with original shows that the company is spending billions of dollars in Hollywood to create. The price undercuts Disney, which earlier this year announced its own streaming service that will feature its iconic children’s content and cost $6.99 per month.

Apple and Disney have long had a unique relationship among major American companies, dating back to when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs became a Disney director and major shareholder after the firm bought Pixar, the digital animation studio majority owned by Jobs. Iger became an Apple director shortly after Jobs’ death in 2011.

“While we will greatly miss his contributions as a board member, we respect his decision and we have every expectation that our relationship with both Bob and Disney will continue far into the future,” Apple said in a statement.

Disney did not immediately return a request for comment.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Maju Samuel and Daniel Wallis

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