We’ve gotten some pretty big Disney news today!
Spider-Bots from Avengers Campus are coming to Downtown Disney, Disney Cruise Line has extended the cancellation of its itineraries through January 2021, and Imagineer Joe Rohde has announced that he will be retiring after 40 years of work at Disney. Now, another Disney executive — Ravi Ahuja, the current President of Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer at Walt Disney Television — has announced that he will be stepping down.
According to Deadline, Ahuja was formerly CFO of Fox Networks Group and took his position at Disney after Disney’s acquisition of Fox. In his role as President of Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer at Walt Disney Television, “Ahuja oversaw finance, strategic planning, business development, affiliate sales & distribution, technology, music affairs, consumer insights and labor relations for the division.” Ahuja’s announcement of his departure comes just weeks after Disney announced a major restructuring of some of its divisions.
In a memo written to the Company, Peter Rice, Chairman of General Entertainment Content at The Walt Disney Company, said that Ahuja’s role “significantly changed” after the restructuring, and Ahuja decided to take that change to find a new challenge. Rice also said that Ahuja is a “fantastic operating and financial executive with the perfect balance of strategic vision and practical action,” and noted his critical role in managing a smooth integration of Fox’s television business into Disney. Rice finished by saying how grateful he was for Ahuja’s partnership and friendship, and wished Ahuja all the best in his next steps.
To ensure a smooth transition, Ahuja will stay on as a consultant as Disney works to find a new head of operations and finance. In the meantime, EVP of Strategy and Business Operations Trisha Husson will manage the day-to-day operations.
Ahuja also sent an internal email to the Company, noting that he was leaving to pursue other challenges but that he did “not come to this decision easily.” He said he is excited about the future of The Walt Disney company and Disney General entertainment, and that “there are very bright days ahead.”
Ahuja further acknowledged that the impetus for his decision was the change in his role, but he specifically noted his pride in helping put together the group and what they have accomplished since the Fox deal closed last year. Ahuja said, “We have made incredibly popular and culture-defining television. We have a leadership team that works supportively with each other and in the best interests of our company and viewers. We are navigating through a once-in-a-century pandemic, and we are repositioning ourselves for the future of our company and our industry.”
We’ll be keeping an eye out for more key information about The Walt Disney Company, particularly as investor day approaches. Stay tuned for all the latest.
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