Leaked Memo Reveals Disney’s New Finance Structure As More Layoffs Loom, With A Reported 15% Of Entertainment Staffers To Be Cut

Leaked Memo Reveals Disney's New Finance Structure As More Layoffs Loom, With A Reported 15% Of Entertainment Staffers To Be Cut
  • Disney CEO Christine McCarthy has reorganized her finance team, according to a leaked memo.
  • Thousands of Disney employees in film, TV, parks and businesses will be laid off next week, according to Bloomberg.
  • The financial consolidation is part of CEO Bob Iger's $5.5 billion plan to cut costs.

Disney CEO Christine McCarthy has appointed a new financial team that includes employees from Disney Entertainment and ESPN. The new structure was described in a McCarthy memo seen by Insider.

This week, McCarthy shared the details with the staff and named Brian Castellani as the new chief financial officer of Disney Entertainment and ESPN. Disney Entertainment is led by co-chairs Alan Bergman and Dana Walden. Jimmy Pietro is the president of ESPN. (Read McCarthy's note below.)

A spokesperson for Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Castellani was executive vice president of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED), and CEO Bob Iger created a new structure that gives content executives more control over their profits and losses. Under previous CEO Bob Chepek, who was fired in November, the company was DMED's chief distribution and budgeting officer.

Castellani will report to Bergman, Walden and Pitaro, the report said. ESPN's finances are increasingly tied to Disney Entertainment as part of Iger's efforts to cut costs by up to $5.5 billion. The financial consolidation could signal a lack of plans to sell ESPN, as some observers and analysts predicted, though Iger said the sports network won't sell this year.

Under Castellani's leadership, Tom Hennessy will manage ESPN's finances, including the company's global sports business, according to the statement.

The changes are “intended to align teams with the new company structure and drive our cost-cutting efforts,” McCarthy wrote, adding, “While our changes are essential to the company’s future success, I understand that change can be difficult. make difficult decisions. Act, preserve and implement.

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Disney's latest job cuts will affect ESPN and other divisions starting Monday, April 24, from theme parks to corporations. Bloomberg reported that 15% of employees in the entertainment division would be fired, citing people familiar with the plan.

Under Castellani's leadership, Lucas Weikert will continue to oversee the finances of consumer-facing streaming services such as Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu and Star. At the behest of former Hulu president Joe Earley, who was named president of Direct-Two earlier in April. . -Consumer, Disney Entertainment. Warbrook was a senior member of Capec's core management team, according to a company source.

Trisha Haasan, who was named head of business and strategy at Disney General Entertainment in January 2022, ran the television business under Peter Rice until his abrupt departure last summer and now plays an unnamed role in managing strategy and the television business.

According to the memorandum, Greg Richard, senior vice president of finance for Disney TV, will leave the company. According to his LinkedIn biography, Richard joined the company in 2003.

Paul Shurgot will oversee the studio's finances and strategy, including production funding, marketing and content evaluation. Chris Arroyo will continue to lead the platform's distribution finance, with Dave Cherniowski for the studio's financial planning; Both are subordinate to Shurgot, the memorandum says.

Read an excerpt from a message from Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, which talks about new financial leadership and efficiency gains across divisions:

We are currently aligning Disney Entertainment and ESPN Finance with the company's new operating model.

This new financial structure is designed to provide stronger financial and strategic support to our creative and distribution teams, creating a clear division of responsibilities. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to organize our teams to serve the new company structure and reduce costs.

Today, I'm excited to share more details about our senior financial management at Disney Entertainment and ESPN.

Brian Castellani has been named Chief Financial Officer of Disney Entertainment and ESPN. Brian will report to me along with Alan, Dana and Jimmy on this matter. He will lead key business planning and financial planning functions to support our content and distribution teams.

The following executives will report to Brian and will work closely with their division and team presidents:

  • Lukas Wickert will oversee the finances of our consumer-facing business.
  • Paul Shurgot will oversee the financial and business strategy of our studios, including production funding, marketing and content evaluation. Chris Arroyo will continue to lead the platform's distribution finance and Dave Cherniowski will continue to lead the studio's financial planning, both reporting to Paul.
  • Karen will oversee the finance, marketing and planning of our entertainment television business, including Sack Television Studios and ABC News Network.
  • Tom Hennessy will oversee ESPN's finances, including the consolidation of our global sports business division.
  • Nick Leverke will oversee content planning and analysis.
  • Rohit Shah will oversee the finances of the advertising sales department.
  • Jeff Grain will oversee the consolidation of the Disney Entertainment segment and fund Aaron LaBerge's technology organization at Disney Entertainment and ESPN.

The following executives will be responsible for finance outside the United States and will report to the regional presidents with dual reporting to Bryan:

  • Mani Rangarajan – India

The previously integrated financial planning team will allow us to better reflect and implement our new structure while fulfilling our mission of providing proactive and forward-thinking decision support. As a finance team, we can also provide our business leaders with a holistic approach that promotes collaboration and delivers the best results for TWDC.

As we rebuild our finances, I would like to acknowledge and thank the following leaders:

Justin Warbrook will join Joe Early as Consumer Reporting Strategist. I am grateful to Justin for his leadership in building our consumer-facing business from the ground up and look forward to continuing the partnership to grow our streaming platforms.

In addition, Trisha Hassan will move into a position as Strategy and Operations Specialist for our broadcasters, reporting to Eric Schrier. I am also indebted to Trisha for her leadership in strengthening our entertainment television business and expanding our flagship television content portfolio over the past few years.

Nearly 20 years later, Greg Reichert has decided to pursue other opportunities and will work closely with Karen as she changes roles. Greg is an important financial leader for us, and we sincerely appreciate his contribution to the development of many of our businesses.

I am confident that we are building a more coherent and cohesive team that will drive our business development and efficiency and help the company achieve its goals. Please join me in supporting leaders as they take on new roles and additional responsibilities. In the near future, each will provide more information about their teams and structures.

While our changes are essential to prepare the company for future success, I understand that change can come with difficult decisions, conversations and realities. There is still a lot of work to be done and I appreciate your efforts, endurance and excellent contributions during this time.



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