Following Bob Iger’s unexpected return as CEO of The Walt Disney Company on Sunday, he has announced the implementation of an extensive restructuring within the company in the coming weeks.
In an official memo to employees, he explained the goals of the changes as “a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
As such, one of the first steps in this process has been to announce the departure of Kareem Daniel. Until today, Daniel held the position of Disney’s head of media and entertainment.
With over ten years at The Walt Disney Company, Daniel gained experience across several sectors, including as head of the Imagineering program for Disney’s theme park designers and more notably, as Vice President of Distribution Strategy at Walt Disney Studios.
Daniel was also often referred to as the former CEO Bob Chapek’s right-hand man, with whom he was closely tied ever since he came on as Chapek’s intern while an MBA student at Standford.
In his latest role, Daniel focused on the Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ streaming services which he helped reach a total of 235 million subscribers globally. Nevertheless, his departure from The Walt Disney Company was announced in Iger’s memo to employees today.
“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,” stated Iger in the official memo.
“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.”
One month before Chapek took over as CEO, the company valuation was estimated at $260 billion. Currently, it is estimated at $167 billion, bringing into question the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the business strategy implemented by Chapek.
After more than four decades at Disney, of which he served for 15 years as CEO, Iger retired just 11 months ago at the age of 71. He was asked to return for a two-year term to reset the strategic direction at The Walt Disney Company, as well as to aid in the process of finding a successor.
Bob Iger has certainly come out of retirement at a challenging phase for The Walt Disney Company and is prepared to instill big changes, steadily working towards success.