After graduation from Ithaca College, Iger began his career as a weatherman for a local television station. He joined the American Broadcasting Company in 1974 and gradually rose through its ranks. Iger was instrumental in convincing ABC to pick up David Lynch's offbeat but influential Twin Peaks. He served as president of the ABC Network Television Group from 1993–94, and then was named president and chief operating officer of ABC's corporate parent, Capital Cities/ABC. In 1996, The Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities/ABC and renamed it ABC, Inc., where Iger remained president until 1999.
On February 25, 1999, Disney named Iger president of Walt Disney International, the business unit that oversees Disney's international operations, as well as chairman of the ABC Group.
Iger was named the chief operating officer of Disney on January 25, 2000, what made him the company's number two executive under Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner. The company had been without a separate president since Eisner assumed the role following the departure of Michael Ovitz in 1997, after sixteen months at Disney.
On March 13, 2005, Disney announced that Iger would succeed Eisner as chief executive officer. Iger has cited international expansion, technological innovation and a renewed focus on traditional animation as the company's top strategic priorities. On October 7, 2011, Disney announced that Iger would become chairman following John Pepper's retirement from the board in March 2012.