Chapek’s exit from Disney comes just two and half years after he was handpicked by Iger to take over from him as CEO. However, as Iger continued to serve as Disney’s executive chairman, reports of conflict between the two top leaders began to emerge. Chapek’s term as CEO was mired in multiple controversies as Disney was forced to deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced its parks and cruise ships to be shut down and its films product and release schedules were disrupted. Disney under Chapek found itself in the middle of a very public and high profile feud with the star of the Marvel film “Black Widow” Scarlett Johansson over its decision to release the movie on streaming instead of theaters. They eventually agreed to a legal settlement with Johansson. A more high profile controversy emerged earlier this year due to Disney’s initial lack of response to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. After facing push back from Disney’s employees, Chapek eventually denounced the bill which then triggered a wave of condemnation from conservatives.
13.4%. That’s the amount by which Disney’s stock price has fallen since the start of November. The slump in Disney’s stock price was caused by the company’s worse than expected third quarter earnings. The company, which is in the midst of a major push towards streaming, reported strong subscriber growth for Disney+ and other streaming services. However, the push to gain subscribers hasn’t come cheap and the company’s streaming division reported “peak losses” of nearly $1.5 billion during the quarter—nearly double compared to the same period last year.
Kareem Daniel, Disney’s head of media and entertainment — and right hand to now-departed CEO Bob Chapek — is out at the company.
CEO Bob Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees, along with a “new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
The decision marks the swift undoing of one of Chapek’s primary actions during his nearly three-year tenure as CEO.
Iger said top Disney lieutenants, including Dana Walden, head of general entertainment, Alan Bergman, leader of Disney content studios, ESPN’s James Pitaro and CFO Christine McCarthy would work together on Disney’s new structure “that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
The decision marks the swift undoing of one of Chapek’s primary actions during his nearly three-year tenure as CEO. Chapek reorganized the company to establish the DMED division and consolidate budgetary power for Disney’s content and distribution divisions under Daniel.
“Our goal is to have the new structure in place in the coming months. Without question, elements of DMED will remain, but I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what fuels this company, and it belongs at the center of how we organize our businesses,” Iger said. “This is a moment of great change and opportunity for our company as we begin our second century.”