Disney CEO Bob Iger Plans Restructuring, Sabeg Loyalist Kareem Daniel Exits

Bob Iger attends the World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures’ ‘Avengers: Endgame’ at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019.

Jeff Kravitz | FilmMagic, Inc | Good pictures

Bob Iger, less than 24 hours after returning to the helm DisneyHe told employees on Monday that the company will be reorganizing in the coming weeks.

One of the first steps, Iger announced, was to become Kareem Daniel, the company’s head of media and entertainment, and right-hand man to now-departed CEO Bob Sabek.

Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees Monday, and “a new structure that puts more decision-making in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”

“This necessitates a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will leave the company,” Iger said in a memo obtained by CNBC.

General entertainment president Dana Walton, Disney content studios president Alan Bergman, ESPN’s James Pitaro and CFO Christine McCarthy will work together on Disney’s new structure, Iger said. Our creativity justifies the teams and costs.”

The decision marks a swift undoing of one of Sabek’s primary moves during his nearly three-year tenure as CEO. Sabeck reorganized the company to establish a DMED division Consolidating budget authority for Disney’s content and distribution divisions under Daniel.

“Our goal is to create a new structure in the coming months. Without question, there will be elements of DMED, but I believe storytelling is what fuels this company and is at the heart of how we organize our businesses,” Iger said. “This is a moment of great change and opportunity for our company as we begin our second century.”

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Karim Daniel

Source: Business Wire

Daniel has a close relationship with Sabek, who hired Daniel as a coach for his MBA at Stanford.

The two worked closely together when Sabeck was head of the Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products group, and Daniel was head of Imagineering, Disney’s theme park designers.

During his tenure, Daniel worked in several divisions of Disney. He was vice president of distribution strategy at Walt Disney Studios when Disney completed its acquisition of Marvel Studios in 2009 for about $4 billion. He was part of the group that bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in 2012.

Marvel and Star Wars would become key parts of Disney’s strategy, especially in streaming, in recent years.

Daniel, who has been with Disney for over a decade, rose to his latest perch As head of media and entertainment, Chabeck restructured Disney in 2020, the now-former CEO quickly surrounded himself with park employees and accelerated the company’s push into streaming.

In his most recent role, Daniel oversaw all of Disney’s streaming services, including Disney+, as well as domestic television networks and studios.

Read Iger’s note:

Dear DMED Staff,

As we begin the transformational work I mentioned to you in my email last night, I want to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to each of you.

In the coming weeks, we will begin implementing organizational and operational changes within the organization. My mission is to reframe things in a way that respects and honors creativity as the heart and soul of who we are. As you know, this is a time of great change and challenges in our industry, and our work will focus on building a more efficient and cost-effective structure.

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I asked Dana Walton, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro and Christine McCarthy to collaborate on the design of a new structure for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will be leaving the company, and I hope you will all join me in thanking him for his many years of service to Disney.

Our goal is to establish a new structure in the coming months. Without question, elements of DMED will endure, but I believe storytelling is what fuels this company and is at the heart of how we organize our businesses.

This is a moment of great change and opportunity for our company as we embark on our second century, and I am very proud to once again lead this team. I can’t say it enough: I’m incredibly grateful for the tremendous work you do every day and your dedication to upholding Disney excellence.

I know change can be unsettling, but it’s also necessary and exciting, so I ask for your patience as we map out this restructuring. More information will be shared in the coming weeks. Until the new framework is in place, we will continue to operate under the existing framework. In the meantime, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and thanks again for all you do.

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Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that Bob Chabeck was Disney’s CEO for nearly three years. An earlier version misstated his tenure.

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