As of 12:02 am ET Wednesday morning, The Walt Disney Company officially took ownership of 21st Century Fox, completing one of the biggest acquisitions in the history of the entertainment industry. Two of Hollywood's largest production companies are now one, which will certainly shift the landscape of show business as a whole, for better or for worse. While there are exciting parts of this merger, like Marvel Studios owning the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters, there are much more difficult aspects to wrestle with, such as several thousand jobs likely lost to the acquisition. Since the purchase was announced more than a year ago, Fox employees have been wondering what their future will hold.
The first step toward that future came on Wednesday morning, when Disney CEO Bob Iger sent a memo to all of the company's employees, the ones that have long been with the House of Mouse and those just arriving from Fox. The email included a welcome message as well as a list of "Day One Essentials" for the new eployees.
Variety released Iger's memo in full online shortly after it was sent out. Here's what the CEO had to say:
"I'm proud to announce the acquisition is complete and 21st Century Fox is now part of the Walt Disney Company. I'd like to welcome our new colleagues, and thank employees on both sides of the deal for your patience and perseverance as we worked through the lengthy acquisition and regulatory process.
"As you know, Disney has never been short on ambition. We've never been satisfied with the status quo, and our vision for this transformative era is our boldest yet. We are rapidly transforming our company to take full advantage of evolving consumer trends and emerging technology in order to thrive in this new and exciting time.
"Our acquisition of 21st Century Fox was driven by our strong belief that the addition of these great businesses, brands, franchises and talent will allow us to move faster, reach farther and aim higher, especially when it comes to building direct connections with consumers.
"I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us, that closing the deal was the finish line rather than just the next milestone. What lies ahead is the challenging work of uniting our businesses to create a dynamic global entertainment company with the content, the platforms and the reach to deliver industry-defining experiences that will engage consumers around the world for generations to come.
"We've spent the past year exploring the new opportunities and synergies generated by bringing our two legendary companies together. Leaders across both organizations have worked closely together to understand how to best unlock this potential and unleash innovation and creativity to generate long-term growth. We're confident in our integration strategy and in our ability to execute it effectively; and we're inspired and energized by the new possibilities.
"Our integration process will be an evolution, with some businesses impacted more than others. We've made many critical decisions already, but some areas still require further evaluation. We may not have answers to all of your questions at this moment but we understand how vital information is, and we're committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide clarity regarding how your role may be impacted.
"Having been on both sides of numerous acquisitions during my career, I have deep appreciation for how this one impacts everyone involved, on both a personal and professional level. I understand the challenges, and I ask for your continued patience in the days to come as we combine this collection of great assets to create the world's premier entertainment company.
It's still unknown just how many employees will keep their jobs with this transition, and how those who stay on will be integrated into Disney going forward.0comments