Disney+ content chief Ricky Strauss exits, Mouse House rejigs senior execs

Ricky Strauss

Disney+ content chief Ricky Strauss is stepping from his position, after nine years with the company.

Strauss took up his most recent role of president of programming & content curation for Disney+ and Hulu last year, following the overhaul that put streaming at the centre of the company’s operations.

His remit is being absorbed by Joe Earley, EVP of marketing & operations for Disney+, and Brian Henderson, Hulu’s VP of content partnerships.

Earley continues to report into Disney+ president Michael Paull, while Henderson reports into Hulu chief Kelly Campbell.

‘Personal decision’

Rebecca Campbell, who took charge of Disney+ following Kevin Mayer’s short-lived move to TikTok, said in a memo to staff: “It is with great regret that I inform you that, after nine years with The Walt Disney Company, Ricky Strauss has made the personal decision to leave the company.”

She added that the company was “so appreciative of his expertise, passion and care” but added that “the recent company reorganisation led to a significant change in Ricky’s role.”

“After a great deal of reflection, he decided it was time to pursue new creative endeavours,” said Campbell, whose remit includes oversight of all international operations and direct-to-consumer at the Mouse House.

Rebecca Campbell

In his own note to staff, Strauss said: “After nine years with The Walt Disney Company, and much contemplation over the past several months, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to move on to pursue new creative endeavours.

“It took much thought and consideration, but with our new structure and the changes to my role, the reorganisation does not provide me with the opportunity to do the kind of work I love to do and to continue making the intended impact I have been so fortunate to have achieved at Disney.”

Strauss’ exit follows the extensive overhaul of senior management ranks at Disney, which has faced stinging losses from its theme park division during the pandemic but also seen its streaming operations flourish.

Prior to his most recent role, Strauss had overseen originals development and acquisitions for the nascent streamer as president of content & Marketing for Disney+, which he took up in 2018.

Before that, he was president of marketing for The Walt Disney Studios, with a vast remit covering feature releases from Pixar, Marvel Studios and Disney among others.

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