In his first day back as Disney CEO after Sunday’s shock shuffle, Bob Iger has fired head of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) Kareem Daniel and pledged a restructure “that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are”.
While it was too soon for Iger to reveal details of the restructure, the returning CEO said a reorganisation of DMED will be necessary as he asks senior lieutenants Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro, and Christine McCarthy to design a new structure “that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs”.
In a memo to employees sent out on Monday Iger said he expected the new structure to be in place in the coming months and added that elements of DMED would remain. Further details are anticipated within weeks.
Daniel was a 16-year Disney veteran appointed to lead DMED in October 2020 in the first major restructure of the previous administration led by Bob Chapek, who served as Disney CEO from February 2020 until Sunday when he was ousted in one of the most dramatic studio moves in a long time. Daniel maintained a low profile since his appointment.
Iger’s memo appears below:
Dear Fellow Employees and Cast Members,
I want to share this note with you that I sent to DMED employees a short time ago.
Dear DMED Employees,
As we embark on the transformative work that I mentioned to you in my email last night, I want to begin by offering my sincere appreciation and gratitude to each and every one of you.
Over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing organizational and operating changes within the company. It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are. As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.
I’ve asked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro, and Christine McCarthy to work together on the design of a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs, and this will necessitate a reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will be leaving the company, and I hope you will all join me in thanking him for his many years of service to Disney.
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.
This is a moment of great change and opportunity for our company as we begin our second century, and I am so proud to be leading this team again. I can’t say it enough: I’m incredibly grateful for the tremendous work you do each day, and for your commitment to maintaining the level of excellence Disney has always been known for.
I know change can be unsettling, but it is also necessary and even energizing, and so I ask for your patience as we develop a roadmap for this restructuring. More information will be shared over the coming weeks. Until a new structure is put in place, we will continue to operate under our existing structure. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and thank you again for all you do.
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