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Behind Bob Iger's Departure From Apple's Board

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You can't play for both teams in one game. 

That's why Bob Iger, CEO and chairman of Disney's (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report board, had to leave Apple's (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report board. But there's more to the story than competition. In fact, the history between the two companies tells a story quite opposite than one of competition.

Iger resigned from Apple's board according to an SEC filing from Apple. This comes as Apple announced its $4.99 per month pricing for Apple TV Plus, its new entertainment streaming subscription service, which will create original content and directly compete with Disney, which has recently announced Disney Plus, a direct-to-consumer streaming platform for original content. 

"It has been an extraordinary privilege to have served on the Apple board for eight years, and I have the utmost respect for Tim Cook, his team at Apple, and for my fellow board members," Iger said in a statement. "While we will greatly miss his contributions as a board member, we respect his decision and we have every expectation that our relationship with both Bob and Disney will continue far into the future," Apple said in a statement.

But Cook and Iger go way back as buddies, just as Apple and Disney do. Disney, a content producer, and Apple, traditionally a host platform for other content producers, have leaned on each other to reach media consumers for over a decade. In 2005, Disney announced ABC would put its content on iTunes, with Iger and Cook appearing together on stage at the announcement event. Disney was one of the first major content producers to make content iPhone users could enjoy on their phones. 

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