December 8, 2022

EUNews24

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Disney: Bob Iger begins major shake-up after returning to firm

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Less than 24 hours after his shock return as Disney’s chief executive, Bob Iger says he is planning a major shake-up of the business.

One of his first moves has resulted in the exit of the head of company’s Media and Entertainment Distribution division, Kareem Daniel.

Mr Daniel was a close ally of the media giant’s former boss Bob Chapek.

On Sunday, Disney announced MrIger’s return as chief executive less than a year after he retired from the firm.

In a message to employees, seen by the BBC, MrIger said “It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honours and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are.”

“I fundamentally believe storytelling is what fuels this company, and it belongs at the centre of how we organise our business,” he said in the email.

He said he had tasked a group of executives with designing “a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalises costs”.

The move marks a speedy undoing of a major initiative put in place by former chief executive Bob Chapek.

During his first year as chief executive MrChapek formed Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution division.

It brought together the company’s film and television sales and distribution operations, with Mr Daniel in charge of it.

MrIger, who headed Disney for 15 years, was brought back by the company’s board to steer it through turbulent times as its share price has plummeted and Disney+ continues to run at a loss.

However, after leaving Disney he told the New York Times in January it was “ridiculous” to suggest he might return one day.

“I was CEO for a long time,” he said. “You can’t go home again. I’m gone,” he told the newspaper.

MrIger, who was chairman until 2021, has now agreed to stay in the role as Disney’s chief executive for two years, during which time he aims to find a successor to lead the company.

“I am extremely optimistic for the future of this great company and thrilled to be asked by the Board to return as its CEO,” MrIger said.

During his decade and a half in charge, as well as overseeing the launch of Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, MrIger drove major acquisitions involving the likes of animation studio Pixar, comic book company Marvel, Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, and Lucasfilm, the home of Star Wars.

Disney’s shares in New York gained more than 6% after MrIger’s return as chief executive was announced.

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