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Walt Disney Reorganizes With a Greater Focus on Streaming Media

By Anders Bylund – Oct 12, 2020 at 10:27PM

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The new corporate structure goes into effect immediately.

Entertainment powerhouse Walt Disney (DIS -0.98%) will soon look a bit different from an investor's perspective. The company just announced a sweeping reorganization of its media and entertainment operations, focusing Disney's considerable assets more directly on streaming media platforms such as Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.

What's new?

The new structure takes effect immediately. It will be reflected in Disney's first-quarter report in early February 2021. November's fourth-quarter report will be the last quarterly update to feature Disney's traditional structure.

Kareem Daniel will lead the newly formed media and entertainment distribution group. This division will manage Disney's content distribution and commercialization efforts on a global level with Disney's various media-streaming services at the vanguard. Daniel recently served as the president of Disney's consumer products, games, and publishing.

Three separate segments will produce new content to feed Daniel's worldwide distribution networks. These segments are comparable to Disney's current production arm, and their existing leaders will stay in place. Sports will be managed by James Pitaro, general entertainment will still fall under Peter Rice, and Disney's studio productions will continue to run under Alan Horn and Alan Bergman.

Photo of the titular character from Disney's The Mandalorian.

Image source: Walt Disney.

Josh D'Amaro will lead the Disney parks, experiences, and products division. Rebecca Campbell, who previously led Disney's international and direct-to-consumer operations as a bundle, will continue to manage both segments, but on a separate basis.

Disney made it clear that this reorganization places more weight on the company's media-streaming solutions, inching closer to the digital content focus that activist investor Dan Loeb suggested last week.

"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," CEO Bob Chapek said in a prepared statement.

Anders Bylund owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short October 2020 $125 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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