Today, The Walt Disney Company announced a strategic reorganization of their businesses.
In a statement, Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company said:
“We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximize shareholder value. With our unparalleled Studio and Media Networks serving as content engines for the Company, we are combining the management of our direct-to-consumer distribution platforms, technology and international operations to deliver the entertainment and sports content consumers around the world want most, with more choice, personalization and convenience than ever before.”
The changes will divide the company into the following four segments:
The newly-formed Direct-to-Consumer and International
The newly created Direct-to-Consumer and International segment will serve as a global, multiplatform media, technology and distribution organization for world-class content created by Disney’s Studio Entertainment and Media Networks groups. The new segment will be comprised of Disney’s international media businesses and the Company’s direct-to-consumer businesses globally--including the upcoming Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, the Company’s ownership stake in Hulu, and its soon-to-be-launched ESPN+ streaming service, programmed in partnership with ESPN. Senior Vice President Agnes Chu will move to the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment and will continue to oversee programming for the upcoming Disney-branded streaming service.
Kevin Mayer, who has served as Disney’s Chief Strategy Officer since 2015, has been named Chairman of the new Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. “Kevin is a proven leader who has played a critical role in bringing together the collection of creative and technological assets that will allow Disney to offer unparalleled entertainment experiences in a direct-to-consumer future,” Iger said. Mr. Mayer will continue to report directly to Mr. Iger.
Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products
The new Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products segment will become the hub where Disney’s stories, characters and franchises come to life. Disney’s worldwide consumer products business will be merged with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts under Bob Chapek. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, and digital games and apps; the world’s largest children’s publisher; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform. By uniting Disney’s consumer products business and Disney Parks’ robust retail and e-commerce operations, the Company will be able to share resources and best practices to provide consumers with incomparable branded products and retail experiences that only Disney can create.
Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will assume additional responsibility for all of Disney’s consumer products operations globally, including licensing and Disney stores, as Chairman of the new Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products business segment.
“Having worked with the exceptional teams at both Parks and Resorts and Consumer Products, I know this combination of incredible skills and resources will lead to a whole host of new creative ideas for high-quality products and experiences to delight our guests,” Mr. Chapek said.
“Bob comes to this new role with an impressive record of success at both Parks and Resorts and Consumer Products, and he is the perfect leader to run these combined teams,” Iger said. Mr. Chapek will continue to report directly to Mr. Iger.
The Disney Media Networks business segment is co-chaired by Ben Sherwood, President, Disney|ABC Television Group, and James Pitaro, who was recently named President of ESPN and previously served as Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. The Media Networks segment will remain virtually the same, with the exception of the international Disney Channel operations that are moving to the Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment along with management of global advertising sales/technology.
The Studio Entertainment business segment is led by Alan F. Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, and remains virtually the same, with the exception of the management of program sales moving to the Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. The Studio Entertainment segment includes Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Live Action, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm, as well as Disney Theatrical Group and Disney Music Group.
The reorganization is effective immediately.
The Company expects to transition to financial reporting under the new structure by the beginning of fiscal 2019.
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