The Walt Disney Company announced a corporate restructuring today that will give Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek control over more parts of the company.
Under the restructuring, which takes effect immediately, Disney now has four main units: the movie studio, the TV networks, parks (which now includes consumer products), and a new "Direct to Consumer and International Business" unit. That new unit will be in charge of all of Disney's over-the-top streaming services as well as advertising sales on all of the company's networks.
Consumer Products moves under Chapek in this reorganization, which returns that unit of the company to Chapek's control. He ran Consumer Products before taking over the parks in 2015. The new name of the Parks and Resorts unit is now "Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products." Chapek continues to report directly to Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger.
Why the change? Essentially, this now allows Iger to oversee directly the launch of Disney's new streaming services, without having to go through the intermediaries of Ben Sherwood at Media Networks or Alan Horn at Studio Entertainment. Putting Consumer Products under Chapek frees Iger to take on that new direct report while putting Disney's merchandise unit under someone who already knows that business. Disney's former Chief Strategy Officer, Kevin Mayer, will oversee the Direct to Consumer unit.
"I want to thank Bob for giving me the opportunity to lead the talented teams who, through the power of new technology and innovation, are creating the future of entertainment viewing," Mayer said in a statement released by the company. "Delivering our great stories and characters directly to consumers on all high-quality devices around the world will provide the Company with meaningful new revenue streams and opportunities for growth."
Beyond that, we're reading tea leaves here. How will this affect operations within the parks and resorts? (It probably won't, at least not for a while.) Does this increase Chapek's chances of succeeding Iger as head of Disney someday? (Giving him more responsibility is an obvious show of respect for Chapek, so it can't hurt.) Will this lead to another reorg in the future? (Almost certainly. Now that the Studios and TV have lost their sales arms to the streaming unit, they're both just production houses. And with the technology behind television and "film" production becoming indistinguishable, I wouldn't bet against those units being combined someday. But who knows?)Tweet
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.