BREAKING: Exec Shake Up as Disney Co Fires Peter Rice Board Stands Behind Chapek
There’s been another shake up over at Disney HQ with the news this morning that the company has fired Peter Rice. Rice is Disney’s most senior television content executive. According to a piece in The New York Times, Disney insiders said that Rice didn’t fit with Disney’s Corporate Culture.
Mr. Rice was chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content which makes over 300 shows annually across a variety of platforms including ABC, Disney Channel, Disney+, Hulu and FX. According to NYT’s sources, it was Chapek who did the firing after a meeting with Rice on Wednesday. It should be noted that Rice just renewed his contract last August (2021) which was in effect until 2024. He will presumably receive a payout for the early dismissal.
Rice has been working in the industry since 1987 where he started as an intern at 20th Century Fox. He is known to have a close relationship with Rupert Murdoch and rose through the ranks to become president of 21st Century Fox.
Chairman of Entertainment for Disney, Dana Walden is expected to take over for Rice. In her current role she oversees Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation) her remit also includes Freeform and Hulu Originals.
Walden is credited with helping ABC become the No 1 entertainment network for two consecutive seasons and reviving Hulu when she took over in 2019 with shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, Little Fires Everywhere and Only Murders in the Building. Since her time at Disney, projects overseen by Walden have been nominated for over 270 Emmy Awards with 29 wins.
Prior to her time at Disney, Walden spent 25 years at 21st Century Fox where programs under her care included This is Us, Empire, Modern Family, Homeland, Ally McBeal and more!
The news of Rice’s departure from House of Mouse is impactful in Hollywood where he was a widely respected member of the film and television industry. With that in mind, the Walt Disney World Board of Directors is rallying around Disney CEO Bob Chapek amidst his decision to let Rice go.
As you can see from a statement released earlier today from the company, they stand behind Chapek’s decision. Susan E Arnold, chairwoman of the board released as statement saying,
“The strength of the Walt Disney Company’s businesses coming out of the pandemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future,” she said. “In this important time of business growth and transformation, we are committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob and his leadership team have the support and confidence of the Board.”
This is a story that we will continue to follow closely here at MickeyBlog. Readers are encouraged to keep following along with us for further news and updates.
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Source: New York Times