Bob Iger attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures ‘Avengers: Endgame’ at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019.
Jeff Kravitz | FilmMagic, Inc | Getty Images
Bob Iger, less than 24 hours after his return to the head of disneytold employees on Monday that the company would undergo a restructuring in the coming weeks.
One of the first steps, Iger said, would be the departure of Kareem Daniel, the company’s head of media and entertainment, and right-hand man to late CEO Bob Chapek.
Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees of the division, along with a “new structure that puts more decisions in the hands of our creative teams and streamlines costs.”
“This will require a reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will leave the company,” Iger said in the memo, which was obtained by CNBC.
Iger said Disney’s top lieutenants, including Dana Walden, head of general entertainment, Alan Bergman, head of Disney content studios, ESPN’s James Pitaro and chief financial officer Christine McCarthy would work together on Disney’s new structure “which puts more decision-making back into the hands of our creative teams and streamlines costs.”
The move marks the swift reversal of one of Chapek’s key actions during his nearly three-year tenure as CEO. Chapek reorganized the company to establish the DMED division and consolidate the fiscal power of Disney’s content and distribution divisions under Daniel.
“Our goal is to have the new structure in place in the coming months. No doubt elements of DMED will remain, but I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what drives this business, and it belongs at the center of how we organize our activities,” Iger said. “This is a time of great change and opportunity for our company as we enter our second century.”
Daniel has close ties to Chapek, who hired Daniel as an intern while working toward his MBA at Stanford.
The two had worked closely together when Chapek was head of the parks, experiences and consumer products group, and Daniel was head of the Imagineering program, Disney’s theme park designers.
Daniel had worked in several Disney divisions during his tenure. He was vice president of distribution strategy at Walt Disney Studios when Disney completed its acquisition to buy Marvel Studios for approximately $4 billion in 2009. He was also part of the team that bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion. 05 billion dollars.
Marvel and Star Wars would go on to become major pieces of Disney’s strategy, especially when it came to streaming, in recent years.
Daniel, who had been at Disney for more than a decade, reached his final perch as head of media and entertainment, when Chapek revamped Disney in 2020 and the former CEO quickly surrounded himself with parks staff. and accelerated the company’s push towards streaming.
In his last role, Daniel oversaw all of Disney’s streaming services, namely Disney+, as well as national television networks and studios.
Disney shares rose more than 6% on Monday, the day after Disney announced the management change.
Read Iger’s memo:
Dear DMED employees,
As we begin the work of transformation that I told you about in my email last night, I want to start by offering my sincere appreciation and gratitude to each of you.
Over the next few weeks, we will begin to implement organizational and operational changes within the company. I intend 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 tremendous change and challenge in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and profitable structure.
I’ve asked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro and Christine McCarthy to work together on designing a new structure that puts more decision-making back into the hands of our creative teams and streamlines costs, and that will require 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 put the new structure in place in the coming months. Undoubtedly, elements of DMED will remain, but I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what drives this business, and it belongs central to how we organize our business.
This is a time of great change and opportunity for our company as we enter our second century, and I am very proud to lead this team once again. I cannot say it enough: I am extremely grateful for the wonderful work you do every day and for your commitment to maintaining the level of excellence for which Disney has always been known.
I know change can be destabilizing, but it is also necessary and even energizing, 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.
Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that Bob Chapek was CEO of Disney for nearly three years. An earlier version misrepresented its terms of reference.