Former Disney CEO Bob Iger will join a venture capital firm run by Jared Kushner brother to advise on the company’s potential investments and serve as a mentor to startup founders.
Josh Kushner, a former Goldman Sachs banker, founded Thrive Capital in 2009. The New York-based firm has backed a host of high-profile startups, including Instagram, Spotify Technology, Robinhood Markets and payments provider Stripe.
Iger will not come aboard on a full-time basis, but will be involved in “all the things” that the firm does, Kushner told The Wall Street Journal.
Kushner, whose brother is former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and was a key advisor in his administration, raised $3 billion in funds in February — the most it has ever raised, the Journal reported.
Iger stepped down as CEO of Disney in 2020 and chairman at the end of last year. Since then, he has been an active investor in the startup space, nabbing stakes in toy brand Funko, delivery service GoPuff and metaverse avatar company Genies.
Iger is also working on a new book on leadership, following up on his 2019 memoir, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Since leaving Disney, the longtime CEO has become an occasional critic of his successor Bob Chapek, as well as a media soothsayer.
Iger spoke out against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law as Chapek flip-flopped on his response earlier this year. Meanwhile, reports began to surface that the longtime CEO regretted handing over the reins to Chapek following a host of missteps, as critics told The Post they hoped for an Iger return.
More recently, the exec made news at a tech conference in Los Angeles last week when he let it slip that Disney was on the verge of acquiring Twitter in 2016. Iger said he pulled the plug because the platform was full of “hate speech” and bots, echoing a similar claim made by Tesla boss Elon Musk as he tries to get out of the $44 billion deal to buy the social media site.
He also criticized the streaming landscape, explaining that while leading firms like Netflix, Disney, Apple and Amazon have a strong foothold, smaller entrants won’t be as lucky.
Without naming competitors like Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max, Discovery+, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Paramount’s Paramount+, Iger offered a more dire prediction.
“They’ve got some tough hands, and it takes a lot of capital to be in that business,” he said. “I don’t think they’ll all make it.