Disney’s int’l content chief exits, as new-look structure emerges

Disney’s chairman of international content & operations is leaving the company in the wake of its restructuring unveiled yesterday, with more details emerging over the new-look divisions.

Rebecca Campbell had been with the Mouse House for 26 years and was most recently leading local and regional content production for its streamers, having been promoted 12 months ago.

Rebecca Campbell

Her exit comes a day after recently returned CEO Bob Iger unveiled a new structure for the Mouse House, made up of its parks & experiences businesses, a separate ESPN unit, and a TV/film arm to be known as Disney Entertainment.

Financial & creative clout

Iger confirmed yesterday that Disney Entertainment would be led by TV-focused Dana Walden and film-focused Alan Bergman, who now have overall control of Disney’s streaming and TV operations in the US and globally.

The move means the duo now regain financial decision making, which had previously resided with Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) chief Karren Daniel, who exited last year. The wider international reorg prompted Campbell’s exit.

The new-look structure means Walden continues to have oversight of ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective, adding ABC Owned Televisions Stations to her purview.

Bergman leads on Disney Live Action, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures as well as Disney Music Group and Disney Theatrical Group.

Dana Walden

Pitaro remains in charge of the ESPN networks and streamer ESPN+, leading on all sports content around the world.

Michael Paull, previously president of DTC for the now disbanded DMED, will retain oversight of business and operations for Disney+ and Hulu.

Hulu’s president Joe Early and Disney+ equivalent Alisa Bowen remain in post, reporting into Walden and Bergman.

Some teams from DMED, including programme distribution and ad sales, will now work across both Disney Entertainment and ESPN, with Walden, Bergman and Pitaro overseeing.

Job cuts & Hulu future

The trio also addressed imminent job cuts, after Iger confirmed that 7,000 roles – or around 3% of the total workforce – are set to be disbanded. In a memo to staff, they said that the final structure would be confirmed “in coming weeks”.

“As we heard [on Wednesday], this reorganisation of our company will result in reductions to our overall workforce, which will affect every segment and function across the company, and we are very mindful of the personal impact of these changes.

“More permanent decisions about individual positions and teams will be made in the coming weeks as we build out our operations in alignment with the company’s overall strategic priorities.

“Understandably, these changes will take a toll on colleagues who will be impacted, and we do not take that lightly. We will continue to be as transparent as possible throughout this process.”

The future of Hulu also remains up in the air, with Iger looking to shift assumptions that the Mouse House would buy the outstanding share of the streamer – owned by Comcast – that it does not currently own.

In an interview with CNBC, the Disney CEO admitted that “everything is on the table right now, so I am not going to speculate whether we are a buyer or a seller of it.”

He added: “But I obviously have suggested that I’m concerned about undifferentiated general entertainment, particularly in the competitive landscape that we are operating in and we are going to look at it very objectively and expansively.”


Tags: Disney, ESPN, Hulu

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