The Infamous Chapek Era has officially come to an end, and Bob Iger is back with what he recognizes and the third massive transformation he has led the company through.
Speaking at the Company’s Q1 2023 Financial Earnings Webcast, Iger laid out a brand new structure for The Company.
“After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation, one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises,” said Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders.”
There will be three prongs will be Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.
Iger confirmed that Dana Walden and Alan Bergman will co-chair the new Disney Entertainment segment, and Josh D’Amaro will remain in charge as Disney Parks Chairman. These changes begin effective immediately.
“Our new structure is aimed at returning greater authority to our creative leaders and making them accountable for how their content performs financially. Our former structure severed that link, and must be restored,” said Iger on the earnings call.
The biggest news is that this completely terminates Bob Chapek’s Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, which was previously run by Chapek ally Kareem Daniel, who was one of the first people Iger fired after taking back the Chief Executive Officer position.
Iger also made it clear that he wants both creative control and responsibility for the actual creative storytellers who bring the movies and television shows to life, as he directs the entire company on optimizing costs and generating quality creative content. He promises a “hard look” at everything the company makes, saying the structure is now designed to place all international content in the hands of one unit so they can determine for Global and Local markets.
While many speculators had expected Disney to drop ESPN, Iger is clearly doubling down on the sports network. “ESPN is a differentiator for this company,” Iger said, claiming it to be the best sports brand in television and that it provides value for the company. It is about posing the brand itself and its programming in front of a constantly changing market.