Disney fires Peter Rice, its prime TV content material government.
The Walt Disney Firm has abruptly fired Peter Rice, its most senior tv content material government, citing an in poor health match with Disney’s company tradition, in accordance with three folks briefed on the matter who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate confidential data.
Mr. Rice, chairman of Disney Normal Leisure Content material, a division of the corporate that makes greater than 300 exhibits yearly for platforms like ABC, Disney Channel, Disney+, Hulu and FX, was ousted by Bob Chapek, Disney’s chief government, in a short assembly on Wednesday, in accordance with these folks. Mr. Rice, who has additionally overseen ABC Information, most not too long ago renewed his contract at Disney in August. It ran till the tip of 2024. Disney pays him out, the folks stated.
Disney is anticipated to announce on Thursday that Mr. Rice will probably be changed by his prime lieutenant, Dana Walden, who has been chairwoman for leisure for Walt Disney Tv.
Mr. Rice declined to remark. Ms. Walden couldn’t be reached for remark.
The ouster of Mr. Rice will go off like a sonic growth in Hollywood, the place he’s broadly admired. Many individuals within the leisure enterprise — exterior of Disney, no less than — have even seen him as a doable candidate to succeed Mr. Chapek as Disney’s chief government. Mr. Chapek’s choice is certain to generate questions on whether or not that chatter acquired a bit too loud; Mr. Chapek has had a troublesome few months, with Disney changing into a political punching bag, notably for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Disney’s inventory value has additionally fallen sharply amid industrywide considerations in regards to the profitability of streaming companies.
In April, Mr. Chapek fired the corporate’s most senior communications and authorities relations government; the manager, Geoff Morrell, had solely joined Disney in January.
Susan E. Arnold, chairwoman of Disney’s board, stated in an emailed assertion that Mr. Chapek had the board’s backing.
“The energy of the Walt Disney Firm’s companies popping out of the pandemic is a testomony to Bob’s management and imaginative and prescient for the corporate’s future,” she stated. “On this necessary time of enterprise progress and transformation, we’re dedicated to conserving Disney on the profitable path it’s on right now, and Bob and his management staff have the help and confidence of the Board.”
Mr. Rice began his leisure profession in 1987, when he was a summer time intern at twentieth Century Fox. Over the subsequent three many years, he would turn into near that firm’s proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, and in the end rise to turn into president of twenty first Century Fox. Mr. Murdoch bought most of twenty first Century Fox to Disney in 2017 in a deal valued at roughly $52 billion. Mr. Rice and Ms. Walden each got here to Disney as a part of the acquisition.
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