Kareem Daniel leaves Disney as Bob Iger returns
The head of Disney’s DMED division was one of former CEO Bob Chapek’s top lieutenants.
Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney group Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED) and chief lieutenant to former CEO Bob Chapek, is leaving his position. New CEO Bob Iger briefed DMED employees on Monday, followed by the entire workforce, of the decision, IndieWire has confirmed.
Dissolving the structure created by his predecessor is Iger’s first step, and Daniel’s exit will require “a reorganization” of the DMED division Daniel leads. The move was expected by many analysts following Sunday’s surprise news of Chapek’s ouster and Iger’s return as CEO. But the move will take the company away from the organization around its streaming division and put some power over how content is published and distributed back into the hands of the creatives behind it.
“My intention is to restructure things in a way that values and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are. As you know, this is a time of tremendous change and challenge in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure,” Iger said in the statement.
He will also task other remaining top lieutenants, including Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro and Christine McCarthy, to help determine a new structure that makes sense for Disney’s future. Iger added that he hopes to have a new structure in a few months.
“There is no question that elements of DMED will remain, but I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what drives this company and that it belongs at the core of our business organization,” he added.
Chapek’s reorganization of Disney was one of his first steps after taking over as CEO in 2020, when he used his longtime No. 2 in Daniel to oversee the DMED division, which now has tremendous oversight, including ad sales for Disney Content and Disney+ , Sales, Operations and Technical.
But analysts at Moffet Nathanson said Monday the move “hurt the morale of creative leadership” and “slowed down decision-making,” and that DMED bore much of the blame for the $1.5 billion losses Disney+ suffered in the recent gains has reported report. In 2021, at a company retreat, Iger even tacitly warned against putting too much weight on data instead of making creative decisions.
A Disney veteran since 2006, Daniel has held positions in divisions such as consumer products, games and publishing during his time with the company; Walt Disney Imagineering; the Walt Disney Studios; and corporate strategy. Despite losses at Disney+ and Chapek’s hope that the streamer would become profitable by 2024, Daniel helped grow Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ to 235 million subscribers worldwide.
Read the full contents of Iger’s note below.
Dear DMED employees
As we begin the transformative work that I mentioned to you in my email last night, I would like to begin by expressing my sincere appreciation and gratitude to each and every one of you.
In the coming weeks we will start to implement organizational and operational changes in the company. It is my intention to restructure things in a way that values and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are. As you know, this is a time of tremendous changes and challenges in our industry and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.
I’ve asked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro and Christine McCarthy to work together to design a new structure that puts more decisions in the hands of our creative teams and streamlines costs, and this will require a reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will be leaving the company and I hope you all will join me in thanking him for his years of service to Disney.
Our goal is to implement the new structure in the coming months. There is no question that elements of DMED will remain, but I fundamentally believe that storytelling is what drives this company and that it belongs at the core of our organization.
This is a moment of great change and opportunity for our company as we enter our second century and I am so proud to once again lead this team. I can’t say it enough: I am incredibly grateful for the tremendous work you do every day and for your commitment to upholding the level of excellence Disney has always been known for.
I know that change can be unsettling, but it is also necessary and even stimulating, so I ask for your patience while we develop a roadmap for this restructuring. More information will be shared in the coming weeks. Until a new structure is in place, we will continue to operate under our existing structure. In the meantime, I wish you all Happy Thanksgiving Holidays and thank you again for all you are doing.
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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/11/kareem-daniel-exit-disney-bob-iger-return-1234784709/ Kareem Daniel leaves Disney as Bob Iger returns