The Walt Disney Company's creative initiatives are directed by Robert Iger, the company's executive chairman. From 2005 to 2020, he was the CEO of the company. From 2000 until 2005, he served as president and COO. Iger started his career at ABC in 1974, and as chairman of the ABC Group, he controlled the broadcast television network and station group, handled cable television businesses, and coordinated the Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and The Walt Disney Corporation merger. Iger joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group, and was then promoted to president of Walt Disney International in 1999. Iger strengthened Disney's foreign footprint in that job, laying the groundwork for the company's current international expansion.