The decision was led by Disney’s chief financial officer, Christine McCarthy, who said shortly after the company’s disappointing earnings report that she had “lost confidence” in Chapek’s leadership.
During Chapek’s two years as CEO, not only did he rack up a slew of PR gaffes, but he also upset the creative leaders at Mouse House by handing over most of the content-related decision-making to his lieutenant, Karim Daniel. .
As part of the review, McKinsey proposed further centralization to eliminate redundancies at the media giant. One possible change was to take decisions about marketing and advertising spending for movies and TV shows out of the hands of studio executives and centralize them elsewhere in the company, The Journal reported. McKinsey also suggested consolidating some functions related to recruiting, communications and legal services.
According to the magazine, McKinsey’s plans have sparked anger among some of Disney’s top content chiefs, who still won’t lose control over content spending decisions under Chapek. According to the publication, some executives felt that the changes would “take away almost all of their power” from their colleagues.
Iger quickly stepped in to return Chapek’s moves. His first points of business were to fire Daniel and free up the Chapek structure, allowing Disney creators to make content decisions.
“My intention is to rebuild in a way that respects and honors creativity as who we are and as our soul,” Iger, who will take over from Chapek in 2020, said in a memo to employees last week.
At Monday’s town hall meeting, Iger said building a new corporate structure will take time, and other executives, including General Entertainment Content Chairman Dana Walden, Disney Studios Chairman Alan Bergman, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro and He said that it will be done together with McCarthy.
The CEO said Disney’s hiring freeze will remain in place while the company examines its cost structure. It’s unclear whether Iger will take any suggestions from McKinsey. Disney did not return requests for comment.
Iger also said he will focus more on improving the profitability of the streaming division, which includes Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
Disney recently reported a streaming unit loss of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter. Iger said the company should focus on increasing profitability and less on adding new subscribers, which was a priority when Disney stepped down as CEO two years ago.