Peter Rice, then Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Networks Group Inc., speaks at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 3, 2017.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Disney has abruptly fired Peter Rice, its longest-serving television content executive, a source told CNBC Thursday.
It wasn’t immediately clear what led to Rice’s sudden departure from the company. According to the New York Times, Rice “didn’t fit Disney’s corporate culture.”
Other sources told Variety that the abrupt decision was strategic and had nothing to do with Rice’s personal conduct.
According to a person with knowledge of the matter, Rice didn’t know the shot was coming.
Rice has over three decades of experience in the entertainment industry and rose through the ranks at 21st Century Fox. When the company’s sale to Disney closed in 2019, Rice joined the Disney team. Dana Walden, who also made the transition from Fox to Disney, will take over his responsibilities.
The dismissal comes as Disney is working aggressively to expand its streaming audience. Rice’s responsibilities include 20th Television, ABC Entertainment, ABC News and FX.
Disney’s board of directors expressed support for CEO Bob Chapek, who broke the news to Rice earlier this week.
“The strength of The Walt Disney Company’s businesses that has emerged from the pandemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future,” Disney CEO Susan Arnold said in a statement. “At this important time of company 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 board’s support and trust.”
— CNBC’s Julia Boorstin and Alexander Sherman contributed to this report.
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https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/09/disney-fires-tv-content-chief-peter-rice-source-says.html Disney is firing TV content boss Peter Rice, a source says