Studio Disney continues to experience one of the most difficult moments in its entire history. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, all of the company’s main areas of activity were paralyzed, and because of the aggressive expansion policy in the market, it was left without a financial “airbag” (total debt reached $ 38 billion). Yes, a company named Mickey mouse broke into industry leaders, but it cost him dearly: the king was naked at the most uncomfortable moment when whole countries were locked.
In the spring of 2023, Disney was forced to borrow about six billion dollars. Moreover, a significant number of employees of internal departments had to be sent on unpaid leave Marvel, Pixar, Searchlight and Lucasfilm.
Restrictive measures have affected the marketing and distribution departments, which is associated with the postponement of major movie releases and the complete closure of movie theaters in the United States. They also removed people who are not critical to maintaining ongoing projects. However, Disney was assured that employees will retain health insurance and bonuses throughout the year.
Amusement parks and movie theaters are still closed, movie release dates are off, publishing is collapsing, and the channel ESPN idle without sports news. As he writes The new york times, the mood in the company is just terrible now, and every day the situation is only getting worse.
Only the streaming platform feels fine Disney +whose number of subscribers has exceeded 50 million people. However, the increased attention of the audience revealed a number of problems: the service was criticized for questionable decisions related to the absurd censorship of films and cartoons. In addition, it is not clear where to get new content from when shooting is frozen.
In a similar situation was not only the Disney studio. Coronavirus and the new financial crisis could be analogous to Thanos’s finger-click, which will turn large entertainment players to ashes. For example, the ViacomCBS conglomerate is feeling very unwell, and Diamond Comic Distributors, which had a monopoly position in the US comic book market, stopped paying money to suppliers and retail chains. Persistent rumors are circulating that in the near future the American cinema chain AMC Theaters will declare bankruptcy. In general, now everyone has a hard time.
“Gray Cardinal” came out of the dusk
In this situation, Disney management is forced to respond, but the new head of the company Bob cap behaved as passively as possible. Therefore, recently, the chairman of the board of directors Bob Iger he sent a letter to the staff in which he announced that he was taking control of the studio again in order to overcome the crisis and renew the company. As for Chapek, he is still formally listed as president.
Iger resigned as Disney CEO in February 2023, which came as a complete surprise to analysts. The decision to appoint Chapek as the head of the studio, who could not even cope with the problems of the amusement parks reporting to him, was also criticized. A more suitable candidate was the chair of consumer relations and international development. Kevin Mayerbut old Bob made a choice in favor of another Bob – more controlled and loyal.
Every day it became apparent that Bob Iger had gone into the shadows, becoming a “gray cardinal” and throwing a routine on a protege. This allowed him to focus on the creative control of projects. Apparently, the top manager expected a decline in income after the super successful 2019 and expected to wait out the storm, maintaining the image of a super successful manager. However, the worldwide COVID-2019 coronavirus infection pandemic has confused all the cards.
Therefore, it is now Iger who leads the meeting, not Chapek. The first is called “Bob“and the second -“Bob C.“. The chairman of the board of directors, and not the head of the company, also gives interviews to reporters.
Mickey Mouse Rescue Plan
According to an emailed staff, Bob Iger intends to reform the company. His vision is the following: to reduce staff and understand how to entertain people in conditions when it is problematic to bring them together. This is especially true for a children’s audience, which is now very carefully scared by parents who are frightened by the coronavirus.
Obviously, in the first place, the changes will affect amusement parks. In particular, it is still unclear what will happen to the plans for the construction of new facilities in Germany. But other areas will be revised. Now the company is losing up to $ 30 million a day, and almost a quarter of a million people work in it. Therefore, serious cost cuts are needed to adapt to new conditions.
Bob Iger also suggests revising the approach to content production, abandoning obsolete practices. It’s about filming pilot episodes of television shows and TV shows that may never see the light of day. Also, the top manager wants to close part of the offices.
The future in coronavirus fog
If the plan works, time will tell. But one thing is certain – Iger’s plan to leave DIsney on a high note failed completely. And now it is not known whether he will have a second chance. If the rumors are true, the top manager is still interested in running for president of the United States in 2024, for which he needs an impeccable image.
As for Bob Chapek, the board of directors will take into account the fact that the top manager worked during the problem period when rating his activities. But so far, he could not gain respect among the employees, remaining in the status of a wedding general. And now his future is obscured by fog.
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