Kareem Daniel, the Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, and former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s right-hand man is out at Disney, per a company memo.
The not-so-shocking move comes on the heels of Bob Iger’s return to the position of CEO, which threw media members and Disney fans for a frenzy Sunday night. Wall Street analysts and company watchers had been expecting a reorganization of the company’s streaming division, as Iger seeks to reshape the company’s streaming strategy and return to a structure that prioritizes greater decision-making by creatives.
“I’ve asked Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Jimmy Pitaro, and Christine McCarthy to work together on the design of a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs, and this will necessitate a reorganization of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. As a result, Kareem Daniel will be leaving the company, and I hope you will all join me in thanking him for his many years of service to Disney.”Iger in a note to employees on Monday
In October 2020, Bob Chapek appointed Daniel was promoted to be over a new single, global media and entertainment distribution unit, in an effort to streamline costs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Daniel was in charge of making sure streaming services become profitable, while the company continued to invest in those platforms.
And while Disney’s streaming business saw growing subscriber numbers, most recently reaching more than 235 million across Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu, the division’s losses have continued to grow, hitting close to $1.5 billion in the most recent quarter. This could put a damper on Disney’s hope for profitable streaming in the fiscal year 2024.