Disney restructures business into four segments

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate The Walt Disney Company has announced a strategic reorganisation into four business segments namely media networks, films, direct to home (DTC) and international.

The reorganisation effective immediately comes in the wake of Disney’s $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets.

Under the reorganisation, Kevin Mayer, who was earlier the chief strategy officer, will assume the role of DTC and International chairman. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek will assume additional responsibility for all of Disney’s consumer products operations globally, including licensing and Disney stores, as chairman of the new Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products business segment.

The Disney Media Networks business segment is co-chaired by Disney|ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood and James Pitaro, who was recently named ESPN president and previously served as Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media chairman. The Media Networks segment will remain virtually the same, with the exception of the international Disney Channel operations that are moving to the Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment along with management of global advertising sales/technology.

The film business segment is led by Disney Studios chairman Alan F. Horn, and remains virtually the same, with the exception of the management of programme sales moving to the Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. The Studio Entertainment segment includes Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Live Action, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, as well as Disney Theatrical Group and Disney Music Group.

Mayer and Chapek will continue to report directly to Iger.

The company expects to transition to financial reporting under the new structure by the beginning of fiscal 2019.

Disney chairman, CEO Robert A. Iger said, “We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximise 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, personalisation, and convenience than ever before.”

Meanwhile, the newly created Direct-to-Consumer and the 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 VP 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.

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 Chapek. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, and digital games and apps; the 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 aims to be able to share resources and best practices to provide consumers with branded products and retail experiences that Disney said only it can create.

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