Disney reorganizes to focus on streaming. Will investors be happy?

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Kareem Daniel, who has previously worked on Disney’s theme parks, will be in charge of a new Media and Entertainment division. Photo by Pixabay.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought mass layoffs and major reorganization of jobs in Hollywood. NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia have been reorganizing their leadership structure during the pandemic, and Walt Disney Co. has joined their ranks. Disney announced a surprise reorganization this week as part of the company’s continued effort to pivot in the direction of a streaming model similar to Netflix.

The company created a new division, the Media and Entertainment Distribution group, which will control Disney’s ad sales and content publishing. The head of the new division is Kareem Daniel, a Hollywood newcomer who was formerly Disney’s president of consumer products, games and publishing.

Investors greeted the news with optimism, as Disney’s stocks went up 4% following the announcement. However, many in Hollywood are questioning why Disney made this move, which apparently will enhance the pivot to streaming to put Disney in direct competition with Netflix.

Some, including analyst Rich Greenfield, say this will give creators more leeway in the production of Disney’s content, but that it’s unclear if investors will respond favorably. Disney’s next investor day event will be held on Dec. 10.

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Hosts:
Matthew Belloni, Kim Masters

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Kaitlin Parker