Restructuring has been one of the top priorities for boomerang CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger since he returned to the top executive position in November 2022 (along with finding a suitable successor before his two-year contract comes to an end).
Bob Iger spoke on the company’s first quarterly earnings call since his return that took place on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, in which he discussed profits and losses across all segments of the company and shared initial plans for what will be prioritized during Disney’s restructuring process.
In the press release issued ahead of the Q1 earnings call, Iger said:
After a solid first quarter, we are embarking on a significant transformation, one that will maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams and our unparalleled brands and franchises. We believe the work we are doing to reshape our company around creativity, while reducing expenses, will lead to sustained growth and profitability for our streaming business, better position us to weather future disruption and global economic challenges, and deliver value for our shareholders.
Throughout the call, whether in response to discussions like the 36% increase in revenues from domestic theme parks alone, or questions regarding Disney’s approach to theming, Iger reiterated that creativity needs to be at the core of what the company stands for as changes are made.
In response to Disney’s streaming services specifcially, including Disney+ which lost 2.4 million subscribers during the first quarter, Iger focused on the need to prioritze Disney’s core brands that have delivered higher returns over the years. He discussed the importance of offering a curated selection of programming on Disney+ rather than prioritizing pushing out more content without the confidence that it would perform well with audiences.
Of course, with any kind of restructuring, there is a concern for layoffs and the Walt Disney Company has already confirmed that about 7,000 employees will be affected. In the overall scope of Disney’s restructuring, however, the Q1 earnings report notes that about 50% of the upcoming cost-cutting measures will be in regards to marketing. We do not have further specifics on what the marketing shakeup will be like at this time, but fans have already begun speculating that cutting out lots of smaller strategies could add up, like fewer influencer-specific events and a pullback on Chapek-era “synergy” initiatives like Disney+ Day.
We at Disney Tips will continue to monitor changes to the structure of the Walt Disney Company under Iger’s two-year contract, and will be back with more information as we have it.