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Bob Iger says storytelling will be at the center of Disney again

by Tharin White

Bob Iger is already making changes to The Walt Disney Company, with an email going out today reassuring employees that his changes put “more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams.” This email may be one of many to come as Iger again regains control of Disney, its financials, and its creative teams.

Bob Iger sends out emails reassuring Cast Members that creativity is heart and soul of Disney.

Today, fewer than 24 hours into his return as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Iger sent out a message of reassurance to his fellow 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

Kareem Daniel, Executive at The Walt Disney Company.
Kareem Daniel

This restructuring begins with the end of Kareem Daniel’s career with Disney. Daniel, according to his LinkedIn profile, came to Disney after years in the investment field with Goldman Sachs. While not confirmed, many online state that Daniel worked closely with Bob Chapek in recent years.

Iger, during his initial term as Disney’s CEO, was known for his aggressive focus on intellectual property acquisition. He sought to acquire underused properties and turn them into the powerhouses we know today, like Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar. Iger was also known for giving more power to the creatives instead of the financiers. This email helps confirm a focus on making Disney more about creativity and storytelling.

These changes have been quickly praised by Disney employees, past and present, who feel Chapek leaving was the right way to go. Michael Jung, a current Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, used a surprised face and praying hands emoji in response to Bob Chapek’s end of service. Many cast members, from Imagineers to front line workers at the parks, have made memes or posted their praise for this sudden and surprising change to The Walt Disney Company leadership.


Bob Iger Returns, Replacing Bob Chapek as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
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