Bob Iger Announces Big Disney Restructuring Plans, Including New Entertainment Business Unit

Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that the company will be going through some big, sweeping, restructuring, effective immediately. During the latest Disney investors call, Iger made it clear that the structure at Disney created by Bob Chapek was off the mark, and needed correction. Iger stated that "Our company is fueled by storytelling and creativity," and therefore he's restructuring, as "our new structure is aimed at returning greater authority to our creative leaders and making them accountable for how their content performs financially."

This announcement about restructuring comes on the heels of Iger's announcement that Disney is cutting about 7,000 jobs

Here's the long-short of how things will change at Disney under Bob Iger's latest restructuring: 

  • Alan Bergman and Dana Walden will head the Disney Entertainment business unit, overseeing Disney's entertainment media portfolio (Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Hulu, ABC, Disney Channel, etc.) and content business, which will include the Disney+ streaming service. 
  • Jimmy Pitaro will remain chairman of ESPN, its various networks, and the ESPN+ streaming service. 
  • Josh D'Amaro will remain chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, handling the Disney theme parks around the world, as well as other consumer events, experiences, and merchandise. 

Bob Chapek attempted to restructure Disney into a "Media and Entertainment Distribution" structure when he succeeded Iger in early 2020. Chapek's system separated content creation and content distribution as two separate divisions, but arguably disrupted the core element that Iger points two as the heart of Disney: creativity. Content creators and business executives seemed to clash under Chapek's system, as the creatives felt micro-managed and restricted by "suits" trying to squeeze profit out of the product. Cleary Bob Iger favors a system that leans into putting the responsibility on the creators to also determine the best way to sell and/or distribute the product. 


You can check out some of Bob Iger's quotes from the investors' call about Disney's restructuring, below: 

"Now it's time for another transformation," Iger told investors, "one that rationalizes our enviable streaming business and puts it on a path to sustainable growth and profitability, while also reducing expenses to improve margins, and better positioning us to weather future disruption increased competition, and global economic challenges. We must also return creativity to the center of the company, increased accountability, improved results and ensure the quality of our content and experiences."

"Now the details," Iger continued. "Our company is fueled by storytelling and creativity. And virtually every dollar we earn every transaction, and every interaction with our consumers emanates from something creative. I've always believed that the best way to spread great creativity is to make sure that the people who are managing the creative processes feel empowered. Therefore, our new structure is aimed at returning greater authority to our creative leaders and making them accountable for how their content performs financially.

Our former structure severed that link and must be restored. Moving forward, creative teams will determine what content we're making, how it is distributed and monetized, and how it gets marketed. Managing costs, maximizing revenue, and driving growth from the content being produced will be their responsibility. Under our strategic organization, there will be three core business segments: Disney entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks experiences and products. 

Alan Bergman and Dana Walden will be co-chairmen of Disney entertainment, which will include the company's full portfolio of entertainment media and content businesses globally, including streaming. Jimmy Pitaro will continue to serve as chairman of ESPN which will include ESPN networks, ESPN+, and our international sports channels. Josh D'Amaro will continue to be chairman of Disney Parks experiences and products, which will include our theme parks, resort destinations, and cruise line, as well as Disney's consumer products, games, and publishing businesses. These organizational changes will be implemented immediately and will begin reporting under the new business structure by the end of the fiscal year.

This reorganization will result in a more cost-effective, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations. We are committed to running our businesses more efficiently, especially in a challenging economic environment. In that regard, we are targeting $5.5 billion in cost savings across the company."

Keep up with the latest changes at Disney HERE.