A day later Shock announcement of Bob Iger’s return to DisneyAnd as a result of the ousting of his successor, Bob Chabeck, stunned Hollywood grapples with what the move means for the short- and long-term future of entertainment.
But while there is no dearth of questions to be asked, two things are certain. First, investors are happy that he’s back reigning in the Magic Kingdom. Shares of Disney rose more than 6% on Monday, a day in which the Dow Jones fell slightly. Second, Iger is moving fast — not even waiting 24 hours to announce major changes — to pull off Sabeck’s restructuring of the company.
The speed of Iger’s strike is especially notable since Disney’s board gave its all-but-only commitment to Iker’s return to the company on Friday. “It actually started on Friday and ended on Sunday,” a person with knowledge of the matter told CNN, adding that Iger “felt a sense of obligation to go back because he really cares about the company.”
Now he’s already calling the big plays.
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In a memo sent Monday evening to employees of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, a key part of the Sabek-created company that frustrated some creators, Iger announced that division president and Sabek partner Kareem Daniel “will be leaving the company. ”
Entertainment giant Igar has announced that it is undergoing a major overhaul. “In the coming weeks, we will begin implementing organizational and operational changes within the company,” Iger wrote to employees. “My mission is to reframe things in a way that respects and honors creativity as the heart and soul of who we are.”
Iger added that he asked Dana Walton, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro and Christine McCarthy to “work together on designing a new structure that puts more decision-making in the hands of our creative teams and justifies costs.” “The goal is to build a new structure in the coming months,” Iger said.
Outside of Iger’s recap of Chapek’s restructuring, the Disney chief could also unravel another major decision Chapek made in the weeks leading up to it: Disney+’s price hike. Iger introduced Disney+ for $6.99 a month and CNBC’s Alex Sherman. reported, his strategy was to “raise prices slowly over time”. However, Sabek dropped that practice earlier this year when it raised its price to $10.99 a month.
Looking further into the future, big questions abound: What will Disney look like when Iger’s two-year contract expires? How can Iger position and reshape the organization for the digital age? Could he make a move to get rid of the ABC and the broadcasting division? Or implement a mega deal to eat up a company like Netflix? Or will Disney itself be eaten by a big tech company like Apple?
A source at a top talent agency said the biggest question Iger has to answer is how he “topped his last run as CEO.”
“The world is a more complex place than it was a few years ago, and it will be difficult to live up to the reputation he has built as a very formidable media CEO,” the source said. “He’s going to have a short runway to please Wall Street, his staff, creative partners and audiences.”
“So much for going out on top.”
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