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Disney CEO Iger departs Apple board ahead of Apple TV Plus launch

The longtime board director had said he'd resign if the two companies became competitors.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger and Apple CEO Steve Jobs worked closely together. Iger this week resigned from Apple's board as the two companies gear up to compete in streaming video. 

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Disney CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple's board as the two companies prepare to compete with their new streaming video services. 

In a regulatory filing Friday, Apple said Iger resigned from its eight-person board on Sept. 10. The company in a statement lauded Iger's time as an "exemplary board member" and called him a "dedicated, visionary CEO."

"More than anything, Bob is our friend," Apple said. "He leads with his heart, and he has always been generous with his time and advice. 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."

Disney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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Apple's Apple TV Plus service will cost $5 a month when it becomes available Nov. 1, while Disney's new Disney Plus streaming service will launch Nov. 12 for $7 a month. 

Both services join a competitive entertainment arena dominated by Netflix. For Apple, the streaming service is part of its push to expand beyond the iPhone. The company still makes most of its money from its popular smartphone, but it's counting on services like Apple TV Plus and Arcade to keep customers locked into its ecosystem -- and giving it a regular monthly fee instead of an occasional iPhone purchase. 

Iger, a longtime Disney executive, joined Apple's board in 2011, a month after Steve Jobs died. The two got to know each other while Jobs served on Disney's board following its acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. Before Jobs died, he asked Iger to take his place on the Apple board when he was gone.

Iger in April said that he would resign from Apple's board if the two started competing more. At the time, he didn't believe it was a problem. 

"When the business of direct to consumer television or movies is discussed on the Apple board, I recuse myself from those discussions," Iger said during an interview with CNBC. "There aren't many of them, they're still a very small business to Apple. And I'm not at the point where I believe it's problematic, but it's something that I need to continue to monitor."

CNET's Joan Solsman and Ian Sherr contributed to this report. 

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