Peter Rice Reportedly Fired by Disney, Dana Walden Named Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content

Peter Rice, Chairman of General Entertainment Content at Disney, has reportedly been fired by the company.

UPDATE (9:00 a.m. PT): Disney has officially named Dana Walden Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content.

What’s Happening:

  • According to multiple reports, including one from the New York Times, Peter Rice is leaving The Walt Disney Company.
  • Dana Walden — currently Chairman of Entertainment for Walt Disney Television — will be taking over the role.
  • Sources also tell Variety that the decision to let Rice go came down to business and was not due to any personal behavior on Rice’s part.
  • His page has now been removed from The Walt Disney Company’s corporate website:

  • Rice came to Disney when the company acquired assets from 21st Century Fox. Notably, he started his career in entertainment as an intern for 20th Century Fox before working his way up the ranks.
  • Walden also came to Disney under the Fox acquisition. Since joining Disney, the areas under her oversight have collectively earned 270 Emmy nominations and 23 wins.

What They’re Saying (About Walden):

  • Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company: “Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who in just three years has transformed our television business into a content powerhouse that consistently delivers the entertainment audiences crave. Her well-earned reputation for championing creative talent and developing programming that truly captures the cultural zeitgeist has resulted in hit after hit, from ABC’s Abbott Elementary and Onyx Collective’s Academy Award-winning Summer of Soul, to Hulu Originals like Only Murders in the Building, Dopesick, The Dropout and The Kardashians. She and Peter have worked closely together for years to create the best programming in the industry, and I can think of no one better than Dana to lead Disney General Entertainment to even greater heights.”
  • Dana Walden, Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content: “It is an incredible honor to be asked to lead this amazingly talented team—they are truly the absolute best in every respect—and I am grateful to Bob for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Disney General Entertainment’s culture of creative excellence and originality has made us home to many of the most talented creators in the business. I am humbled to lead this team, and I am confident that together, we will continue to build on the foundation of culture-defining entertainment we have achieved so far.”

The Chapek of it All:

  • In his report, New York Times journalist Brooks Barnes notes that some had theorized Rice could succeed Bob Chapek as CEO of The Walt Disney Company should continued struggles Chapek has faced during his tenure continue.
  • However, Chairwoman of the Board Susan E. Arnold offered a statement of support for Chapek, telling the Times, “The strength of the Walt Disney Company’s businesses coming out of the pandemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future,” she said. “In this important time of business growth and transformation, we are committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob and his leadership team have the support and confidence of the Board.”