A major shakeup is being reported over at the House of Mouse. Peter Rice, chairman of Walt Disney Co.’s TV content division, has been fired by Disney CEO Bob Chapek; apparently, Rice was no longer a good fit.
From the Los Angeles Times…
Rice will be replaced by his lieutenant Dana Walden, a fellow alum of Fox’s TV studio business who also joined with the 2019 acquisition, Disney said Thursday. The change takes effect immediately.
Walden will become chair of Disney General Entertainment Content, the division responsible for programming from ABC, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and other brands.
“Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who in just three years has transformed our television business into a content powerhouse that consistently delivers the entertainment audiences crave,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement.
While Rice was once considered the natural successor to Chapek, it seems the company soured on the former Fox exec. According to the Times, “Rice didn’t mesh well with the company’s new regime, according to insiders. Chapek took over as CEO from Bob Iger in 2020 and reorganized the company, separating content businesses from decisions about distribution, which ruffled feathers within the organization, especially among high-powered executives used to having relative autonomy.”
Disney stock is down more than 30% in the last 6 months, many blaming the leadership’s decision to step into the political arena and being more vocal on social issues.
Peter Rice is out a Disney.
Sources say embattled Disney CEO Bob Chapek summoned Rice and relieved the former Fox exec of his duties. The CEO is said to have felt that Rice was no longer a fit https://t.co/SaC6EIwXrv pic.twitter.com/FXn2LOtGKy
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 9, 2022