Disney’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Geoff Morrell Exits Company, Leading to Division of Responsibilities Amongst 3 Execs

The Walt Disney Company’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Geoff Morrell, is stepping down from his position after five months in the role, leading to a reorganization of the teams he led.



What’s Happening:

  • Disney CEO Bob Chapek released an internal memo today announcing that Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Geoff Morrell is leaving the company.
  • Morrell began this role on January 24th, 2022, and reported directly to Bob Chapek, overseeing Corporate Communications, Global Public Policy, Government Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) teams.
  • The memo simply states that Geoff is leaving to “pursue other opportunities,” but the quick exit comes on the heels of some public missteps for the company, particularly its varying degrees of response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
  • Morrell’s exit has caused some reorganization of the teams he led, reassigning his responsibilities to the following executives:
    • Kristina Schake, Executive Vice President, Global Communications, will oversee Corporate Communications.
    • Horacio Gutierrez, Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, will oversee Government Relations and Global Public Policy.
    • Jenny Cohen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, will oversee Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).
  • All three executives previously reported to Morrell and will now report directly to Chapek.
  • Chapek’s memo ended by sharing his confidence in this team as the company moves closer to its 100th anniversary.
  • You can check out the full text of the memo below:


I am writing to share the news that Geoff Morrell, our Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Fortunately, the strength and experience of our existing leadership team—including relatively new all-star hires—means there is no shortage of talent to guide our reputation-driving functions. With Geoff’s departure, I am pleased to share the following changes:

First, Kristina Schake will lead The Walt Disney Company’s communications efforts, serving as our Executive Vice President, Global Communications reporting directly to me. In this expanded role, Kristina will have oversight for corporate and segment communications and continue to be our chief spokesperson. Our business segment and content communications leads will continue to dual report to both division leadership and corporate communications, now led by Kristina.

We are incredibly fortunate to have Kristina with us at this important time. Her 30-plus years of experience includes roles leading President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine education program, communications for Instagram, and leadership positions in political campaigns and the Obama White House. Kristina has a strategic approach and collaborative style, as well as relentless optimism and a strong appreciation of our brand and its place in the world. These attributes will be invaluable as she works to protect and enhance our reputation, and I am thrilled to be working with her more closely.

Next, Government Relations and Global Public Policy will now be led by our General Counsel, Horacio Gutierrez. Since joining the company earlier this year, Horacio has integrated seamlessly into the Disney family, and has quickly become a valued advisor to me and the leadership team on a wide range of issues. His extensive experience leading these areas will be incredibly useful in driving our efforts.

In addition to his current direct reports, Susan Fox, Senior Vice President for Government Relations, and Yvonne Pei, Senior Vice President, External Relations, Greater China, will join Dorothy Attwood, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy, in reporting directly to Horacio.

Finally, Jenny Cohen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, will now report solely to me in her role leading our CSR and ESG efforts. Jenny is a strong leader, and has done incredible work modernizing our approach in key areas like environmental sustainability, community investment, and philanthropy.

I am incredibly confident in this team, and look forward to working with them and all of our leadership to set Disney’s course for the next 100 years of extraordinary entertainment and experiences.