The Walt Disney Company has set a new organizational structure for its media and entertainment businesses in order to accelerate its direct-to-consumer streaming strategy.
As part of the new structure, Kareem Daniel has been tapped as chairman of media and entertainment distribution. This segment is responsible for the monetization of content—distribution and ad sales—and streaming services. Daniel was previously president of consumer products, games and publishing. He reports directly to CEO Bob Chapek.
Rebecca Campbell, as chairman of international operations and direct-to-consumer, reports to Daniel on her responsibilities around Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ and Chapek on the overall international operations.
Three content creation groups will be focused on developing and producing content for the company’s own streaming services as well as legacy platforms. Alan F. Horn and Alan Bergman will serve as chairman of studios content, focused on branded theatrical and episodic content based on the company’s franchises for theatrical exhibition, Disney+ and the company’s other streaming services. The group includes The Walt Disney Studios, including Disney live action and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures. As chairman of general entertainment content, Peter Rice will lead all efforts around general entertainment episodic and original long-form content for the company’s streaming platforms and its cable and broadcast networks. The group will include 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television; ABC News; Disney Channels; Freeform; FX; and National Geographic. James Pitaro will serve as chairman of ESPN and sports content. All four also report directly to Chapek.
Bob Iger, in his role as executive chairman, will continue to direct the company’s creative endeavors.
“Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” Chapek said. “Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it. Our creative teams will concentrate on what they do best—making world-class, franchise-based content—while our newly centralized global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetizing that content in the most optimal way across all platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and the coming Star international streaming service.”
Chapek continued, “Kareem is an exceptionally talented, innovative and forward-looking leader, with a strong track record for developing and implementing successful global content distribution and commercialization strategies. As we now look to rapidly grow our direct-to-consumer business, a key focus will be delivering and monetizing our great content in the most optimal way possible, and I can think of no one better suited to lead this effort than Kareem. His wealth of experience will enable him to effectively bring together the company’s distribution, advertising, marketing and sales functions, thereby creating a distribution powerhouse that will serve all of Disney’s media and entertainment businesses.”
Daniel added, “It’s a tremendous privilege to work with the talented and dedicated teams that will comprise this group, and I look forward to a close collaboration with the outstanding and incredibly successful team of creative content leaders at the company, as together we build on the success we’ve already achieved in our DTC and legacy distribution business.”