In a report I first saw on Variety.com, the restructuring at Disney started today on Bob Iger’s first day back. The late-night change of leadership Sunday night led to this next step under Iger’s leadership. Iger did not wait long to make his first clear decision as returning CEO at Disney. Via a memo to Disney staff, people learned that Kareem Daniel, chairman of the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution would be leaving the company. This move looks to be the first of many in the restructuring of the Disney company. The move was not unexpected since Daniel served as a key leader in the Chapek era of Disney.
The memo announced that a major restructuring at Disney would begin in the upcoming weeks. Kareen Daniel being let go would be the first of many steps. Iger was careful to encourage everyone to thank Daniel for his years of service to Disney.
Also in this memo, we find out that Iger has created a team of Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro, and Christine McCarthy to partner with him on this restructuring. If rumors are to be believed, McCarthy herself may have led a corporate rebellion against Chapek speeding up his removal. Iger stressed the need for more decision-making power to be with the creative teams. This change of pattern would necessitate a restructuring according to Iger.
The memo continues to say that “Our goal is to have the new structure in place in the coming months,” Within this process, Iger wrote that “I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what fuels this company, and it belongs at the center of how we organize our businesses.”
Kareen Daniel became chairman of the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution in October 2022 during a restricting that Chapek did to enhance the Disney streaming services. Daniel had been with Disney since 2006. He had served in consumer products, games, and publishing divisions prior to becoming chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution.
The full memo can be found below:
Dear DMED Employees,
As we embark on the transformative work that I mentioned to you in my email last night, I want to begin by offering my sincere appreciation and gratitude to each and every one of you.
Over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing organizational and operating changes within the company. It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are. As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.
I’ve asked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro, and Christine McCarthy to work together on the design of a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs, and this will necessitate a reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will be leaving the company, and I hope you will all join me in thanking him for his many years of service to Disney.
Our goal is to have the new structure in place in the coming months. Without question, elements of DMED will remain, but I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what fuels this company, and it belongs at the center of how we organize our businesses.
This is a moment of great change and opportunity for our company as we begin our second century, and I am so proud to be leading this team again. I can’t say it enough: I’m incredibly grateful for the tremendous work you do each day, and for your commitment to maintaining the level of excellence Disney has always been known for.
I know change can be unsettling, but it is also necessary and even energizing, and so I ask for your patience as we develop a roadmap for this restructuring. More information will be shared over the coming weeks. Until a new structure is put in place, we will continue to operate under our existing structure. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and thank you again for all you do.
Only time will tell about the next steps for the Disney corporation. However, most people see the return of Iger as a good thing. This first big move by Iger will probably not be the last.
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