The changes at Disney under Bob Iger keep coming in earnest as the mass media giant faces huge changes as the company rebounds from the Bob Chapek era
Disney potentially faces huge changes under recently returning CEO Bob Iger as the mass media giant seeks to reorganize.
According to Deadline, there is increasing speculation within Disney about potential layoffs and the restructuring of various divisions amid a quarterly earnings report expected to be released on Feb. 8. The potential dissolution of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) is a key focus of the expected reshaping at the company. It’s been rumored ever since former chairman Kareem Daniel parted ways with Disney just hours after Iger returned to his CEO post. Iger has reportedly disliked DMED, which Chapek created to centralize distribution decisions, causing mistrust among creative leaders who saw their decision-making power dwindle over time.
Additionally, there is growing chatter about the future of Disney Television Studios, which features 20th Television, 20th Animation, ABC Signature and Walt Disney Television Alternative. Reportedly, a consolidation could take place with different divisions merged, including between 20th Television and ABC Signature, though insiders are concerned about how well they’d mesh given the “two very different cultures” they have. Meanwhile, Disney’s movie studio is not expected to be a part of the impending cuts as it currently enjoys the huge box office success of Avatar: The Way of Water, which has become the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time since its release last December.
The Return of Disney’s Bob Iger
Iger rejoined Disney as CEO on Nov. 21 of last year, coming out of retirement to return to a position he previously held between 2005 and 2020. Bob Chapek succeeded him in the role, with Iger remaining with the company as a consultant until he completely departed at the end of 2021. Iger reportedly held secret meetings without Chapek’s knowledge and criticized the then-leader of Disney amid concerns over his decision-making and leadership style.
Iger’s contract is set to expire in 2024. At the current time, there have been no confirmed plans for the end of his tenure at Disney, though reports suggest Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, who orchestrated Chapek’s exit behind the scenes, could take Iger’s place once his contract expires.
During the early stages of his second CEO stint, Iger has been trying to restore the goodwill of Disney and improve the company’s perception after numerous PR disasters under Chapek including the reported shifting of budgets to cover up mounting Disney+ costs, his disparaging comments about the company’s animation efforts and his initial response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill last March. Iger has worked to put back control in the hands of creatives after being stifled under Chapek while the mass media stalwart recently announced new, customer-friendly pricing structures for their theme parks.
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