The Walt Disney Company announces strategic restructuring, restoring accountability to creative businesses
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. BCS Bureau