Disney Reorganizes Business To Reflect Streaming Ambitions

Disney Reorganizes Business To Reflect Streaming Ambitions

Disney Reorganizes Business To Reflect Streaming Ambitions

Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Mayer was named chairman of the new direct-to-consumer and global business segment.

According to Disney's release, the new structure will consolidate its Direct-to-Consumer Services unit and the Technology and International Media operations into a single global business.

Those services, created to make Disney competitive with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, include ESPN Plus, which will roll out this spring. Mayer has been Disney's Chief Strategy Officer since 2015.

The Burbank entertainment and media giant has also created a new direct-to-consumer and worldwide business unit to serve as a global distribution organization for content created by Disney's studio entertainment and media networks groups. Disney is now pursuing a $52 billion deal to acquire Fox's entertainment assets, including its stake in Hulu, which would make Disney a majority owner of the SVOD. Disney and Fox each have a 30% stake in Hulu.

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Rita Ferro, president of advertising sales for Disney|ABC Television Group, and Edward Erhardt, president, global sales & marketing, ESPN, will now report to Kevin Mayer. Disney maintains that this venue will become the exclusive home for subscription video-on-demand of the newest live-action and animated movies in the Pay TV window from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. It will also include the upcoming ESPN+ streaming service that is to be programmed in partnership with ESPN.

Media networks and the movie studio will remain separate units, Disney said. In addition to the new unit, there is Media Networks; Studio Entertainment and a segment that combines Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products.

Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, assumed the additional responsibility of overseeing all of Disney's consumer-products operations, including licensing and Disney stores.

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