One day after Bob Iger returns as CEO of The Walt Disney Company and internal changes are happening as it’s announced Kareem Daniel is exiting Disney as head of its Media and Entertainment Distribution division.
In a memo to Disney staffers yesterday, Iger announced restructuring at The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) will begin “in the coming weeks,” and as part of that restructuring, Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED), will be stepping down, with Iger thanking Daniel for “his many years of service to Disney.”
Daniel was hired by Bob Chapek as part of his creation of a distribution hub, DMED, with the goal to streamline the process of creating the optimal release plan for all film and TV titles.
Reportedly, this central decision hub frustrated many veteran execs as well as notable members of the creative community.
As part of the memo sent out by Iger, he said he has tasked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, and Jimmy Pitaro, along with TWDC CFO Christine McCarthy to design “a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Walden, Bergman and Pitaro are chairs of Disney General Entertainment Content, Disney Studios Content, and ESPN, respectively.
“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,” he continued.
Before taking on the chairman role, Daniel had recently worked as President, Consumer Products for a few months, and before that he was President, Walt Disney Imagineering Operations/Product Creation/Publishing/Games for TWDC. His page at TWDC’s website has already been deleted.
Iger’s full memo is below:
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 road map 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.