The Walt Disney Company - Featured Image

Disney Releases More Details on Restructuring Including Creative Control and Accountability

One day after announcing its restructuring, The Walt Disney Company is sharing more information about how that will exactly be implemented. In a lengthy release, Disney shared what the individual segments will be and who will be leading them. There are also biographies about the new heads of the segments. Along with restructuring the company, power for decisions regarding creative development, marketing, technology, sales, and distribution was given back to creatives instead of split apart as had been done under former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s leadership. With the return of control will also come accountability.

“For nearly 100 years, storytelling and creativity have fueled The Walt Disney Company, with virtually every interaction we have with our consumers emanating from something creative,” said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “I am committed to positioning this company for a new era of growth. Our strategic restructuring will return creativity to the center of the company, increase accountability, improve results, and ensure the quality of our content and experiences.”

The three segments of The Walt Disney Company are now:

  • Entertainment – Led by Dana Walden and Alan Bergman
  • ESPN -Led by Jimmy Pitaro
  • Disney Parks, Experiences and Products – Led by Josh D’Amaro

“Every day, I am reminded of what incredible talent we have leading the many facets of this company,” Iger said. “Thanks to my management team and our exceptional business leaders, who have acted quickly and strategically on the important changes we are undertaking today, I am as encouraged as ever by what the future holds for The Walt Disney Company.”

The new structure is effective immediately and financial results for the new structure will be reported by the end of the fiscal year.

Read all of the details about the new structure here:

The Walt Disney Company Announces Strategic Restructuring, Restoring Accountability To Creative Businesses

BURBANK, Calif., February 9, 2023 – The Walt Disney Company announced details of its strategic restructuring that will refocus the organization on creativity, empower creative leaders and ensure they are accountable for all aspects of their businesses globally, and put the company’s streaming business on a path to sustained growth and profitability.  Effective immediately, the company will be organized into three core, collaborative business segments: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. The leaders of each business segment will have full operational control and financial responsibility for creative development, marketing, technology, sales, and distribution, and will be accountable for driving business efficiencies globally.

“For nearly 100 years, storytelling and creativity have fueled The Walt Disney Company, with virtually every interaction we have with our consumers emanating from something creative,” said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “I am committed to positioning this company for a new era of growth. Our strategic restructuring will return creativity to the center of the company, increase accountability, improve results, and ensure the quality of our content and experiences.”

Disney Entertainment will be co-chaired by Alan Bergman and Dana Walden who will be responsible for the company’s full portfolio of entertainment media and content businesses globally, including streaming.

ESPN will include ESPN networks and ESPN+ and will be led by Jimmy Pitaro. Pitaro will also be responsible for the management and supervision of the company’s full portfolio of sports content, products and experiences across all of Disney’s platforms worldwide, including its international sports channels.

The streaming business remains a top priority for the company. Disney’s unparalleled collection of renowned and trusted franchises and brands, combined with the reach of the streaming portfolio (consisting of Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, Star+ and Hotstar) creates rich and direct connections between the consumer and the company’s stories and characters, powering growth across the entire company.

“Every day, I am reminded of what incredible talent we have leading the many facets of this company,” Iger said. “Thanks to my management team and our exceptional business leaders, who have acted quickly and strategically on the important changes we are undertaking today, I am as encouraged as ever by what the future holds for The Walt Disney Company.”

Disney Entertainment co-Chairmen Alan Bergman and Dana Walden will oversee the company’s global entertainment streaming businesses and manage all content decisions for those services, including Disney+ and Hulu.

Bergman will also have primary oversight of the following businesses and content brands: Disney Live Action, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures as well as Disney Music Group and Disney Theatrical Group.

Walden will also have primary oversight of the following businesses and content brands: ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Owned Televisions Stations, Disney Branded Television, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content, and Onyx Collective.

Pitaro will continue to oversee eight linear networks, including ESPN and ESPN2; sports content across all Disney domestic and, going forward, international platforms; ESPN+; ESPN Audio; ESPN Digital; ESPN Social; ESPN Fantasy and a variety of owned sports events.

Effective immediately, several shared-service organizations across the company will support both Disney Entertainment and ESPN, facilitating company-wide efficiencies and creating a more cost-effective, coordinated, and streamlined approach to operations. These include Product and Technology, led by Aaron LaBerge; Advertising Sales, led by Rita Ferro; and Platform Distribution led by Justin Connolly excluding Theatrical Distribution and Music, which will be overseen by Bergman.

Outside of North America, the company’s media, entertainment, and sports content and operations will continue to be managed regionally by Luke Kang, President Asia Pacific; Jan Koeppen, President EMEA; Diego Lerner, President LATAM; and K Madhavan, President India. These leaders will report to Bergman, Walden, and Pitaro as part of their global responsibilities. As a result of the changes, Rebecca Campbell, Chairman, International Content and Operations, has decided to leave the Company.  An esteemed leader and longtime industry veteran, Campbell will stay on through June to help with the transition.

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products — encompassing the company’s award-winning theme parks, cruise line, resort destinations and Adventures by Disney and National Geographic Expeditions, as well as Disney’s global consumer products, games, and publishing businesses — will continue under the leadership of Chairman Josh D’Amaro.

The organizational changes will be implemented immediately, and the company will begin reporting financial results under the new business structure by the end of the fiscal year.

Executive Biographies 

Alan Bergman – Co-Chairman, Disney Entertainment 

Alan Bergman is Co-Chairman for Disney Entertainment, along with Dana Walden. Together, they are responsible for The Walt Disney Company’s full portfolio of entertainment media and content business globally, including streaming. This includes accountability for content creation, sales and distribution, marketing, operations and technology. Bergman was previously Chairman, Disney Studios Content, responsible for the Studios division, including Disney Theatrical Productions. Prior to that, Bergman was Co-Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios from 2019 to 2020, and its President from 2005 to 2019.

Dana Walden – Co-Chairman, Disney Entertainment 

Dana Walden is Co-Chairman for Disney Entertainment, along with Alan Bergman. Together, they are responsible for The Walt Disney Company’s full portfolio of entertainment media and content business globally, including streaming. This includes accountability for content creation, sales and distribution, marketing, operations and technology. Walden was previously Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, overseeing original entertainment and news programming for Disney’s streaming platforms, broadcast and cable networks, in addition to Disney Televisions Studios and Onyx Collective. Prior to that, Walden served as Chairman of Entertainment for Walt Disney Television.

Jimmy Pitaro – Chairman, ESPN 

Jimmy Pitaro is Chairman of The Walt Disney Company’s ESPN business segment, which includes ESPN and ESPN+. Pitaro is also responsible for the Company’s full portfolio of sports content, products and experiences across all of Disney’s platforms worldwide, including content creation, sports rights acquisitions, distribution and marketing. Previously, Pitaro was ESPN President and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, after serving as Chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, starting in 2016.  He joined the Company in 2010 to lead Disney’s Interactive segment.

Josh D’Amaro – Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products 

Josh D’Amaro is Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, overseeing a global hub consisting of Disney’s iconic travel and leisure businesses, which include six theme park-resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia; a top-rated cruise line; a popular vacation ownership program; an award-winning guided family adventure business; and Disney’s global consumer products operations. D’Amaro has a 25-year track record with the company. Previously, D’Amaro had served as President of Disneyland and then Walt Disney World Resorts.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise.  For convenience, the term “Company” is used to refer collectively to the parent company and the subsidiary companies through which our various businesses are actually conducted. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $82.7 billion in its Fiscal Year 2022.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this email may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our future structure, growth, profitability, positioning, results, creativity, quality, expenses, targets and other statements that are not historical in nature. These statements are made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made. Management does not undertake any obligation to update these statements.

Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including restructuring or strategic initiatives (including capital investments, asset acquisitions or dispositions, new or expanded business lines or cessation of certain operations), our execution of our business plans (including the content we create and IP we invest in, our pricing decisions, our cost structure and our management and other personnel decisions) or other business decisions, as well as from developments beyond the Company’s control, including:

  • further deterioration in domestic and global economic conditions;
  • deterioration in or pressures from competitive conditions, including competition to create or acquire content and competition for talent;
  • consumer preferences and acceptance of our content, offerings, pricing model and price increases and the market for advertising sales on our DTC services and linear networks;
  • health concerns and their impact on our businesses and productions;
  • international, regulatory, legal, political, or military developments;
  • technological developments;
  • labor markets and activities;
  • adverse weather conditions or natural disasters; and
  • availability of content.

Each such risk includes the current and future impacts of, and may be amplified by, COVID-19 and related mitigation efforts.

Such developments may further affect entertainment, travel and leisure businesses generally and may, among other things, affect (or further affect, as applicable):

  • our operations, business plans or profitability;
  • demand for our products and services;
  • the performance of the Company’s content;
  • our ability to create or obtain desirable content at or under the value we assign the content;
  • the advertising market for programming;
  • income tax expense; and
  • performance of some or all Company businesses either directly or through their impact on those who distribute our products.

Additional factors are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 1, 2022, including under the captions “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business,” quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, including under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The terms “Company,” “we,” and “our” are used above to refer collectively to the parent company and the subsidiaries through which our various businesses are actually conducted.

What do you think of the new structure for The Walt Disney Company? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.