Disney Executive Fired, Chaos Inside The Family Empire House

Peter Rice, then-chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Networks Group Inc., speaks at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, May 3, 2017.

Courtesy of David Paul Morri, Bloomberg, Getty Images

Senior Executive Peter Rice is fired by the Disney boss himself, CEO Bob Chapek.

The chaotic news about Peter Rice, Chairman of Walt Disney Television and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks. Dana Walden is chosen to replace him. The firing has caused some confusion and tumult inside the Hollywood elite.

“You can never have enough good creative executives, and they had as good a lineup of creative execs working in one place as you could find,” said one. “Why would you get rid of a great one and shackle the other — a gifted creative executive — with unfamiliar areas like news and corporate tasks, giving them less time to spend on creative?”

Executives don’t grow on trees, inside voices said. Several team members didn’t see this coming, Wall Street is still processing this unconventional news. Rice didn’t know that it was happening. Rice signed a large contract in 2021, making the sellout sum a big one.

“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,” Chapek said in announcing her promotion.

Rice, in connection with Fox, has been fired as he wasn’t a cultural fit at Disney according to CNBC. Peter Rice was the most senior executive in the family company.

“If they had full confidence, they would never leave their CEO with less than a year on his contract. The vote of confidence is laughable, it seems like the thing they do before they send you out to the firing squad.”

Rice and Walden know and have worked with each other for years. This sudden vote to outcast has shaken up the 100-year old company.

“Peter Rice is one of the best executives in town and I can’t imagine why Chapek would do this, other than feeling threatened by all the rumour of Peter and Kareem being people who could take his job,” said one prominent source shocked and disappointed by the move. “There’s no cause. This is a big, big loss for the Walt Disney Company.”

There’s an indication that Rice will be jumping to Warner Bros Discovery for a high executive role. Walden has also been involved with  24, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more.

According to Disney press release:

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She (Dana) will have oversight of ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective. Walden previously served as Chairman, Entertainment, Walt Disney Television and succeeds Peter Rice, who is leaving the company. Her appointment is effective immediately, and she will report directly to Chapek.

Source: Deadline.com

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