New Disney CEO reportedly joked to employees that his wife wanted him to return to keep him from running for US president

Robert Iger and wife, Willow Bay during Jonsson Cancer Center Benefit at Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California, United States.
Robert Iger and wife, Willow Bay.Michael Tran/FilmMagic via Getty
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  • Disney CEO Bob Iger said his wife encouraged him to return to Disney to avoid a presidential run, CNBC reported.

  • Iger opened a town hall with Disney staff on Monday with a quote from "Hamilton," per the report.

  • He reportedly dismissed speculation of an Apple deal and said he plans to maintain a hiring freeze.

Bob Iger joked on Monday that his wife, Willow Bay, told him to return as the CEO of Disney again so that he wouldn't run for US president, according to a report from CNBC.

Iger made the comment during his first company town hall meeting since returning as CEO, CNBC reported. He kicked off the meeting by quoting a song from Lin Manuel Miranda's musical, "Hamilton," the publication said.

"There is no more status quo. But the sun comes up and the world still spins," Iger quoted, sources who attended the town hall told CNBC.

A Disney spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment and confirmation of Iger's reported remarks.

In a surprise move that reverberated across the business world, Disney announced last week that Iger would be replacing Bob Chapek as CEO less than three years after handing the role over to Chapek. Insider's Claire Atkinson previously reported that Disney's decision to bring back Iger came together in a matter of days after a board member reached out to Iger.

In the past, Iger has expressed interest in running for president. When he first stepped down from his role as Disney CEO in 2020, Iger said in a podcast that he'd seriously considered running for office on multiple occasions. Though, Iger later said that his wife shut the idea down.

"You can run for anything you want, but not with this wife," Iger said Bay told him.

At the Disney town hall on Monday, Iger said the company plans to maintain its hiring freeze that Chapek had initiated earlier in November, per The Hollywood Reporter. The CEO also called any chatter that Apple could acquire Disney "pure speculation," the publication reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider