Bob Iger is BACK and big changes could be on the way.
We’ve already seen some executives leave the Company since Iger’s return, but more adjustments could be made as steps toward reorganizing Disney’s corporate divisions are taken.
According to Deadline, the excitement that initially surrounded Bob Iger’s return to the CEO position has worn off and been replaced by a sense of “anxiety” as speculation intensifies about a “pending corporate restructuring” and the potential for layoffs that could follow.
Upon Iger’s return, a report filed on The Walt Disney Company’s website shared that they “anticipate that within the coming months Mr. Iger will initiate organizational and operating changes within the Company to address the Board’s goals.”
They continued, “While the plans are in early stages, changes in our structure and operations, including within DMED (and including possibly our distribution approach and the businesses/distribution platforms selected for the initial distribution of content), can be expected.”
Now, there is reportedly mounting pressure for Disney to stage some kind of “rebound” since Iger is back. And pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz and his battle for a seat on the Board of Directors has likely only intensified things.
Details about a potential restructuring are expected to be revealed soon, and some seem to think the news could coincide with Disney’s next earnings call, scheduled for February 8th.
While the restructuring could include consolidation within the marketing departments and changes at Disney Television Studios, it seems DMED (Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution) is likely to be the center of the changes.
This division was created by Chapek in an effort to centralize distribution decisions, but it removed decision-making power from the creative leaders, a move Iger is now seeking to reverse.
Questions still surround the unwinding of DMED, the fate of those executives caught in the mix, and the situation over at Disney Television Studios and the incorporation of certain FOX assets.
According to Deadline, “everything seems to be on the table” as various options get discussed for potential mergers of divisions at 20th TV and ABC Signature.
Deadline reports that they’ve “heard” that any Disney layoffs that come out of this reorganization may be smaller and more targeted. But the reorganization efforts won’t be easy.
Also, it seems stock prices remain a big focus with cost-cutting efforts aimed at improving the stock price. At the end of 2022, the stock hit a multi-year low. But stock prices have been on the rise in 2023.
Another focus of Iger’s (and the Board of Directors)? Regaining the trust of the Street. One insider said, “Getting back in the Street’s good graces solves the Peltz and other activist investor issues, it solves shareholder grumbling, it solves everything, for now.” That insider said, “Whatever it takes, whatever costs they have to cut, that’s what they’ll do.”
We’ve already seen a number of executive leadership changes hit Disney, but it seems more could be on the way, and they could be revealed just before a critical date — Disney’s first earnings call of 2023 and the first since Iger’s return. We’ll keep an eye out for updates.
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