BREAKING NEWS: Bob Chapek Announces Big Shake-up For Disney’s Media and Entertainment Divisions
Bob Chapek has just appeared on CNBC to announce that The Walt Disney Company will be restructuring its media and entertainment divisions as streaming becomes the most important facet of the company’s business.
According to the piece on CNBC, the company announced that in order to accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy it is centralizing its media businesses into one single entity which will oversea content distribution, Disney+ and ad sales.
“We’re putting the consumer first,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek says about the acceleration of its direct-to-consumer strategy. “We’re trying to, as they say, skate to where the puck is going to be.” https://t.co/Pe3FZkOGV1 pic.twitter.com/Pz30lDd0ta
— CNBC (@CNBC) October 12, 2020
After the announcement, shares of the company jumped 5%. This move on Disney’s part comes after the company continues to struggle in the wake of COVID-19 which has crippled its theatrical business as customers turn to streaming since they are spending more time at home.
Disney+ continues to be a success for the company with reports back in August showing that Disney has more than 100 million subscribers across all streaming offerings. At least half of those come from Disney+.
The announcement also follows the news last week that activist investor Dan Loeb called on Bob Chapek to end the company’s annual $3 billion dividend to divert more capital to Disney+.
Loeb’s Third Point Capital is one of Disney’s largest shareholders and bought more shares earlier this year to support Disney’s focus on Disney+
Disney has just elevated its former head of parks and consumer products, Kareem Daniel, to head of media and entertainment. pic.twitter.com/Agm1ZqbiAV
— Dawn Chmielewski (@DawnC331) October 12, 2020
As part of this restructuring reports are coming in the Disney has promoted Kareem Daniel (the former president of games and publishing within the Disney consumer productions division) into the role of overseeing the entertainment distribution group.
His new remit will include making sure that streaming becomes profitable for the company. As CNBC says, “Daniels will hold the reins to all of the company’s streaming services and domestic television networks.” This includes television networks including content distribution, sales and advertising.
Daniel has been at Disney for 14 years where he has spent time in studio distribution and Walt Disney Imagineering. Daniel also served as the president of Walt Disney Imagineering operations, production creation, publishing and games.
He played a crucial role in the transformation of IP into the parks and resort properties with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios.
Chapek called Daniel an “an exceptionally talented, innovative and forward-looking leader, with a strong track record for developing and implementing successful global content distribution and commercialization strategies.”
He added “His wealth of experience will enable him to effectively bring together the Company’s distribution, advertising, marketing and sales functions, thereby creating a distribution powerhouse that will serve all of Disney’s media and entertainment businesses.”
The new structure doesn’t have too much of an impact on the studios, general entertainment and sports. Alan Horn and Alan Bergman will continue in their roles of chairmen of studios content. Peter Rice will still oversee general entertainment and James Pitaro remains in charge of ESPN.
All these positions report directly to Chapek. Disney is becoming more reliant on Disney+ as movie theaters across the country struggle to bring in audiences. As we previously reported here at MickeyBlog, The company pushed back releases including Black Widow and we announced last week that the Pixar film Soul will be making its Disney debut on December 25th.
Disney parks, experiences and products will also remain with Josh D’ AMaro with Rebecca Campbell overseeing international operations and direct-to-consumer
.The new structure at the Walt Disney Company is effective immediately. The company currently expects to transition its financial reporting to reflect these changes beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.
During the investor day, Disney will "present further details of its direct-to-consumer strategies."
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 12, 2020
Additionally, Disney announced that it will hold a virtual investor day on Dec. 10. This is a story that we will continue to follow closely here at MickeyBlog so keep checking in with us for further news and updates!
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