Bob Iger moves quickly to dismantle Chapek’s Disney reorganization


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CNN Business

A day after the shock announcement of Bob Iger’s return to Disney, and the subsequent ouster of his successor-turned-predecessor Bob Chapek, a stunned Hollywood is grappling with exactly what the move will mean for the entertainment giant in short and long term. future

But although there is no shortage of questions being asked, two things are certain. First, investors are happy to have him reign over the Magic Kingdom again. Disney shares ended Monday up more than 6% on a day that saw the Dow Jones fall slightly. Second, Iger is moving quickly, not even waiting a full 24 hours to announce sweeping changes, to dismantle Chapek’s corporate reorganization.

The speed at which Iger is being moved is especially notable since Disney’s board only made its opening for Iger to return to the embattled company on Friday. “It literally started on Friday and ended on Sunday,” a person with knowledge of the matter told CNN, adding that Iger “felt an obligation to come back because he really cares about the company.”

Now he’s calling big plays.

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. Sign up for the daily summary explaining the evolution of the media landscape here.

In a Monday evening memo sent to employees of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, a key arm of the company created by Chapek that frustrated some creatives, Iger announced that Kareem Daniel, head of the division and an ally of Chapek, ” would leave the company.” ”

Iger also announced that the entertainment giant will undergo a broader transformation with him back at the helm. “Over the next several weeks, we will begin implementing organizational and operational changes within the company,” Iger wrote to employees. “My intention is to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are.”

Iger added that he had asked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro and Christine McCarthy to “work together on designing a new structure that puts more decision-making back into the hands of our creative teams and streamlines costs.” Iger said the goal “is to have the new structure in place within the next few months.”

Outside of Iger’s reorganization of Chapek’s reorganization, the Disney chief could also pull the plug on another key decision made by Chapek that’s just weeks away from taking effect: Disney+’s price hike. Iger launched Disney+ at just $6.99 a month, and as CNBC’s Alex Sherman reported, his strategy was to “slowly raise prices over time.” Chapek, however, abandoned that modus operandi earlier this year when it raised the price to $10.99 a month.

Looking ahead, bigger questions abound: What will Disney look like when Iger’s two-year deal ends? How will Iger position and reshape the company for the digital age? Could he make a move to leave the ABC and the broadcasting division? Or perhaps execute a mega-deal to eat up a company like Netflix? Or will Disney itself be eaten by a Big Tech giant like Apple?

A source at a top talent agency noted that the biggest question Iger will have to answer is how he “tops off his last run as CEO.”

“The world is a much more complicated place than it was a few years ago and it will be difficult to live up to the reputation he built as the most formidable media CEO in history,” the source said. “And it will have a short runway to please Wall Street, its staff, creative partners and the public.”

“So much for going upstairs.”

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