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Bob Iger Announces Restructuring After Taking Disney Reins, Kareem Daniel to Exit

Bob Iger is wasting no time in reshaping Disney after returning as CEO.

In a memo to Disney staffers, Iger announced restructuring at the media giant will begin “in the coming weeks.” As part of that restructuring, Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, will be stepping down, with Iger thanking Daniel for “his many years of service to Disney.”

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“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,” Iger wrote.

“Our goal is to have the new structure in place in the coming months,” he continued. “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.”

Read Iger’s full memo below.

The entertainment industry as a whole was left stunned when Disney issued a late Sunday night memo announcing that Iger would return to lead the Mouse House, with CEO Bob Chapek resigning effective immediately after a tumultuous tenure of nearly three years.

It was widely expected by industry insiders that Daniel would be out under the revived Iger regime, as Daniel was a top lieutenant of Chapek’s.

Daniel was named to his most recent role within Disney in October 2020 when Chapek reorganized his executive ranks to place a greater emphasis on Disney’s streaming offerings by creating the Media and Entertainment Distribution group.

Daniel first joined Disney in 2006 and worked his way up the executive ranks, previously serving as president of consumer products, games, and publishing prior to his most recent role.

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.

Bob

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