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Disney CEO Bob Iger warns of ‘restructuring’ in memo to employees

Newly returned Disney CEO Bob Iger notified employees on Monday of his plans to “restructure things” in a memo obtained by FOX Business.

Iger’s memo to employees explained, “Over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing organizational and operating changes within the company. It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are.”

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DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 99.03 +2.81 +2.92%

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Attendees are reflected in Disney+ logo during the Walt Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on Sept. 9, 2022. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

He noted that “this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

Disney reported fourth-quarter revenues and earnings below analysts’ estimates in early November. Disney posted $20.15 billion in revenues, while its diluted earnings per share “excluding certain items” decreased 19% year over year, coming in at $0.30. Despite subscription growth on the company’s streaming platforms Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, operating losses in the direct-to-consumer segment grew by roughly 134% year-over-year to $1.47 billion in the fourth quarter.

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Disney logo at the NYSE

A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Co. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec. 14, 2017. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid / Reuters Photos)

Iger’s memo emphasized that the reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) will result in “a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs”.

The reorganization includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, who was the chairperson of DMED and had worked closely with former CEO Bob Chapek, whose tenure at the helm was preceded and succeeded by Iger.

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Jinping and Iger

China’s President Xi Jinping talks with Disney CEO Bob Iger at the Great Hall of the People on May 5, 2016, in Beijing. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Iger tapped four executives to lead the restructuring: Disney General Entertainment Chairman Dana Walden; Disney Studios Content Chairman Alan Bergman; ESPN and Sports Content Chairman Jimmy Pitaro; and Disney CFO Christine McCarthy.

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The memo didn’t offer a precise timeline for the changes, but Iger wrote that the “goal is to have the new structure in place in the coming months” and he said more information will be shared “over the coming weeks.”

Iger previously served as Disney CEO from 2005 to 2020, then was the company’s executive chairman until his retirement in 2021. His return to the CEO role was announced by Disney on Sunday night.

FOX Business’ Aislinn Murphy contributed to this report.

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