- According to a leaked memo, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy has reorganized its finance team.
- Bloomberg reports that thousands of Disney employees across film, television, parks and businesses will be laid off next week.
- The financial consolidation is part of CEO Bob Iger’s effort to save $5.5 billion in costs.
Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy has appointed a new finance team that brings together staff from both Disney Entertainment and ESPN. The new structure was outlined in a note from McCarthy that was reviewed by an insider.
McCarthy shared details with staff this week, appointing Brian Castellani as the new chief financial officer of Disney Entertainment and ESPN. Disney Entertainment is run by co-chairmen Alan Bergman and Dana Walden. Jimmy Pitaro is the chairman of ESPN. (Read McCarthy’s note below.)
A Disney spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Castellani served as EVP of Finance, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED), a unit that was dismantled when returning CEO Bob Iger created a new structure that gave content executives greater oversight of the P&L. . Under former CEO Bob Chapek, who was fired in November, the company centralized budgeting and distribution responsibilities under DMED executives.
Castellani will report to Bergman, Walden and Pitaro, the memo said. ESPN’s finances are more closely tied to Disney Entertainment’s finances as part of his Iger effort to cut costs by as much as $5.5 billion. The financial consolidation likely indicates that ESPN has no plans to decommission it, a move some observers and analysts had predicted, but Iger said earlier this year that the sports network was not for sale. increase.
Under Castellani, Tom Hennessy will be responsible for ESPN’s finances, including the company’s global sports operations, the memo said.
The change is intended to assemble a team “to serve the new company structure and deliver on cost-reduction initiatives,” and that “our changes are designed to prepare the company for future success.” It’s necessary, but I recognize that change is possible.It’s full of tough decisions, protections, and realities.” He said it helped him see the big picture and “strengthen collaboration.”
Disney’s latest layoffs are set to hit ESPN and other divisions, from theme parks to corporate, starting Monday, April 24. It reported a 15% reduction.
Under Castellani, Lukas Wickart will continue to oversee the finances of D2C streaming businesses Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu and Star. Separately, according to a LinkedIn profile, Justin Warbrooke, who has been his CFO at DTC and International, said in early April that he was named president of Direct-To by former Hulu president Joe Earley. Take on the role of his D2C strategy to report. • Consumers, Disney Entertainment. Warbrook was a senior member of Chapek’s core management team, according to insiders.
Trisha Husson, who was promoted to head strategy and business for Disney General Entertainment in January 2022 (she was in charge of the TV business under Peter Rice before he abruptly retired last summer), now , has moved to an unnamed role in the strategy and operations of the television business. note.
Greg Richard, senior vice president of finance for Disney TV, is set to leave the company, according to the memo. Richard joined the company in 2003, according to his LinkedIn bio.
Paul Shurgot will oversee the studio’s finances and strategy, including production funding, marketing, and content evaluation. Chris Arroyo will continue to lead platform distribution finances, along with Dave Czerniewski, who will be responsible for financial planning for the studio. Both report to Shurgot, the note read.
Read part of a memo from Disney CFO Christine McCarthy. It outlines the new financial leadership and mission across departments.
We are currently aligning the Disney Entertainment and ESPN Finance organizations to the company’s new operating model.
This new financial structure is designed to provide strong financial and strategic support and create clear lines of responsibility for our creative and distribution teams. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work to assemble our team to service our new company structure and realize our cost reduction initiatives.
Today, I am pleased to share more about Disney Entertainment and ESPN’s Senior Finance Leadership.
Brian Castellani has been named CFO of Disney Entertainment and ESPN. In this capacity, Brian reports to Alan, Dana, Jimmy and doubly reports to me. He will lead core business and financial planning functions that support our content and distribution teams.
The next leader reports to Brian and works closely with the segment chair and team.
- Lukas Wickart will oversee the financials of our D2C streaming business.
- Paul Shulgott will oversee the finance and strategy of the studio business, including production finance, marketing and content evaluation. Chris Arroyo will continue to lead Platform Distribution’s finances and Dave Czerniewski will be responsible for his Studios’ financial planning activities, both reporting to Paul.
- Karen Sack will oversee the finances of the entertainment television business, including finance, marketing and network planning for television studios and ABC News.
- Tom Hennessy will oversee ESPN’s financials, including the segment integration of the global sports business.
- Nick Lewerke oversees content planning and analysis.
- Rohit Shah will oversee Ad Sales’ finances.
- Jeff Glenn will oversee the segment integration of Disney Entertainment and raise capital to support Aaron Laberge’s technology organization across Disney Entertainment and ESPN.
The next leader will continue to be responsible for finance outside the United States, reporting to the regional president and dual reporting to Brian.
- Mani Rangarajan – India
The integrated financial planning team described above will enable us to best reflect and operate our new structure while fulfilling our mission of proactive and insightful decision support. As part of the finance team, we can also provide business leaders with a holistic view, enhancing collaboration and delivering the best possible outcomes for TWDC.
With our financial restructuring, we would like to thank the following leaders:
Justin Warbrooke transitions to a D2C strategy role reporting to Joe Earley. He thanks Justin for his leadership in building his direct-to-consumer business from the ground up and looks forward to continued partnership in the growth of his Streaming platform.
In addition, Trisha Husson will transition into a strategy and operations role for the television business, reporting to Eric Schrier. Equally grateful to Trisha for her leadership in consolidating her television business and growing her portfolio of industry-leading television content over the last few years.
After nearly two decades, Greg Richard has decided to pursue other opportunities and will work closely with Karen on the transition of his responsibilities. I sincerely appreciate his contributions in several undertakings.
I am confident that we are building a more aligned and collaborative team that enables our business and functions and helps us achieve the goals the company has set. Please join me in supporting our leaders. Each will share more about their respective teams and structures in the near future.
Our changes are necessary to prepare our company for future success, but I recognize that change can be fraught with difficult decisions, conversations and realities. There is still more to come, but we thank you for your continued efforts, resilience, and outstanding contributions so far.