Today, the Walt Disney Company announced a number of changes as part of a strategic reorganization. These adjustments come as the company is preparing to launch a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service next year, ESPN+ service in the coming months, and engage in other growth efforts. Under the new structure, Direct-to-Consumer Services, Technology and International Media Operations will be one division to be lead by chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer. Next, Parks and Resorts and Consumer Products Operations will be combining to create a hub “where Disney’s stories, characters and franchises come to life.” This newly-joined segment will be headed by current Parks and Resorts leader Bob Chapek. (For more on what this reorganization could mean for Disney fans, you can check out FanBoy’s analysis.)
In a statement regarding the changes, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said, “We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximize shareholder value. With our unparalleled Studio and Media Networks serving as content engines for the Company, we are combining the management of our direct-to-consumer distribution platforms, technology and international operations to deliver the entertainment and sports content consumers around the world want most, with more choice, personalization and convenience than ever before.”
The newly created Direct-to-Consumer and International segment will serve as a global, multiplatform media, technology and distribution organization for world-class content created by Disney’s Studio Entertainment and Media Networks groups. The new segment will be comprised of Disney’s international media businesses and the Company’s direct-to-consumer businesses globally–including the upcoming Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, the Company’s ownership stake in Hulu, and its soon-to-be-launched ESPN+ streaming service, programmed in partnership with ESPN. Senior Vice President Agnes Chu will move to the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment and will continue to oversee programming for the upcoming Disney-branded streaming service. BAMTech will also live in this segment and will work with all parts of Disney.
Also included in the Direct-to-Consumer and International segment will be ad sales for all media properties including ESPN, ABC, Freeform, and Disney Channels. It will give advertisers a one-stop shop for television, online, and direct-to-consumer outlets. Rita Ferro, President, Advertising Sales, Disney|ABC Television Group, and Edward Erhardt, President, Global Sales & Marketing, ESPN, will now report directly to Mr. Mayer. In addition, global distribution of film and television content as well as Movies Anywhere will move to the new segment.
The new Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products segment will become the hub where Disney’s stories, characters and franchises come to life. Disney’s worldwide consumer products business will be merged with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts under Mr. Chapek. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, and digital games and apps; the world’s largest children’s publisher; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform. By uniting Disney’s consumer products business and Disney Parks’ robust retail and e-commerce operations, the Company will be able to share resources and best practices to provide consumers with incomparable branded products and retail experiences that only Disney can create.
The Media Networks and Studio Entertainment segments remain virtually the same with the exception of the components that are moving to the new Direct-to-Consumer and International segment. While the reorganization is effective immediately, Disney expects to do financial reporting at the beginning of the next fiscal year in October.