Top Disney exec Kareem Daniel is leaving as Bob Iger returns

Kareem Daniel, the chairman of Walt Disney Co.’s massive media and entertainment distribution segment, is leaving the company as part of an organizational reshuffle that comes a day after Robert Iger returned as CEO, according to a company note to employees viewed by Market Review.

The move marks the departure of one of the top executives appointed under former CEO Bob Chapek, who was ousted on Sunday as part of Iger’s appointment to the top position. Chapek took over from Iger as Disney DIS,
+6.30%
General manager in 2020.

Iger said in the memo that Disney would soon begin “organizational and operational changes” to cut costs and, he said, empower creative teams.

“I asked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro and Christine McCarthy to collaborate on designing a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs. reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution,” Iger said in the memo.

“As a result, Kareem Daniel will be leaving the company, and I hope you will all thank him for his years of service to Disney,” the memo continued.

Iger said his goal was to have a new structure for Disney “in the coming months”. He said the company would share more information “in the coming weeks”.

Disney shares remained largely unchanged after closing. They were up 6.3% to $97.58 during the regular session, the stock’s best day since December 11, 2020.

For more: Disney stocks have best day in nearly two years since Iger’s return as ‘perhaps media’s greatest leader’ is back

The media and entertainment distribution division encompasses all film and TV production and distribution, including channels such as ABC and ESPN, as well as streaming services such as Disney+. The division also handles content sales and licensing tasks. Chapek created the new corporate structure not long after he took over in an effort to lean more towards streaming.

Iger returned to the helm after Disney executives forecast slower revenue growth for the year ahead, following a quarter in which a smaller run of theatrical releases weighed on content sales and weaker results in the parks and media segments.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier today, Iger’s contract runs through December 31, 2024 and will provide him with an annual base salary of $1 million, as well as an annual bonus of up to $1 million in cash and $25 million in stock.

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He will also serve as a director on Disney’s board of directors until the company’s annual meeting in 2023. The filing stated that the company was “exercising its right to terminate the employment of Robert A. Chapek as Chief Executive Office without cause. to end”. Chapek also resigned from the board.

Iger previously served as CEO of Disney from 2005 to February 2020.

Disney shares are down 37% so far this year. The S&P 500 index SPX,
-0.39%
has fallen by 17% in that time.

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