Former Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger Takes Board Seat at Genies Inc.

3D avatar startup Genies has announced that former Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger has joined its board of directors.
Image source: Genies

Quick take:

  • Robert Iger is personally investing in Genies.
  • Iger will help Genies navigate its mission to empower humans to create their own avatar ecosystems.
  • Iger left Disney in December and is exploring the metaverse like his successor Bob Chapek.

Digital avatar startup Genies has just announced that former Disney chairman & CEO Robert Iger has taken a board seat at the company alongside Bond’s Mary Meeker, NEA’s Rick Yang, Genies CEO & co-founder Akash Nigam, and Genies co-founder Evan Rosenbaum. 

Besides joining Genies’ board of directors, Iger is also personally investing in the company. With decades of experience in business and global leadership, the 71-year-old Iger will help steer Genies towards its mission of empowering humans to create their own avatar ecosystems.

“We believe that avatar ecosystems are going to be the mobile apps of web3. An ambitious vision calls for rare mindshare and I can’t think of a better creative and product thinker than Bob to collaborate with in bringing this all to reality,” said Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies.

In January, Genies announced that it will be giving full ownership and commercialization rights to creators on the platform so that they can create their own digital identity that can be used anywhere in the metaverse. 

Over the past two years, Genies has secured 99% of the celebrity avatar market share.

In May 2021, the startup closed a $65 million Series B funding round and signed a partnership deal with Warner Music Group (WMG) to develop avatars and NFTs for WMG’s artists. In December, Genies announced a global partnership with Universal Music Group to become the official avatar and digital NFT partner for their entire roster of artists.

“I’ve always been drawn to the intersection between technology and art, and Genies provides unique and compelling opportunities to harness the power of that combination to enable new forms of creativity, expression and communication,” said Bob Iger. “After spending the last few months getting to know Akash and learning more about Genies, I am very excited about his vision and how it will be fulfilled, and I look forward to working with the entire team.”

Iger left his role at Disney in December last year and is exploring the metaverse just like his successor Bob Chapek is doing at Disney. This month, Disney promoted executive Mike White from senior VP of consumer experiences and platforms to senior VP of next-generation storytelling.

White is in charge of establishing Disney’s overall vision and strategy for the consumer journey through the metaverse via storytelling.

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