Peter Rice, the chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content has been fired. Up until this week, he oversaw the development of programming for Disney+, Hulu, and Star, and its cable and broadcast networks. Disney General Entertainment’s portfolio includes 20th Television, ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Signature, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic, and Onyx Collective. However, this is no longer the case.
The New York Times and other outlets are reporting that Disney CEO Bob Chapek ousted Rice due to the fact that he didn’t fit with the corporate culture. Other sources told Variety that the change was entirely strategy-related. Rice had recently renewed his contract through 2024 and will receive a payout as he departs. It is expected that Disney will be announcing his replacement sometime today.
Rice will be replaced by his top lieutenant Dana Walden, who is currently the chairwoman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television. Neither Rice, Walden, or Disney commented on this shakeup.
The firing of Rice came as quite a surprise for the popular executive. He is widely respected and was also seen as a possible future CEO for The Walt Disney Company. With more than three decades of experience in the entertainment industry, Rice came from 21st Century Fox. When Disney purchased Fox, both Rice and Walden made the transition to the Disney team.