Disney’s hiring freeze will remain in place, CEO Bob Iger tells employees

CEO and Chairman of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse look on before ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, November 27, 2017 in New York City.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger said during his first town hall since returning to the company that he will not lift the company̵[ads1]7;s hiring freeze and that he will reevaluate its cost structure.

Iger started the town hall on Monday with a quote from the song “What’d I miss?” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton” which says “There’s no more status quo. But the sun rises and the world still spins.”

After about five minutes of introductions, Iger began answering questions, including many from an in-person audience. Disney employees could submit both named and anonymous questions before the event began.

Iger acknowledged that Disney’s focus must shift to making its streaming business profitable rather than concentrating on just adding subscribers, which was the company’s priority when he gave up the CEO job in 2020. He noted that Disney will not pursue any major acquisition in the near future. , adding that he is comfortable with Disney’s current set of assets.

Iger shocked the business community by returning to the CEO job after repeatedly saying he would not return. He replaced his handpicked successor Bob Chapek, whose nearly three-year run as CEO ended abruptly after a dismal fourth-quarter financial results report. This prompted several senior managers to tell the board members that they had lost confidence in his leadership.

In a memo last week, Iger said one of his first actions will be to overhaul Disney’s organizational structure, which was changed by Chapek to centralize decision-making over content and distribution under Kareem Daniel. Iger has already fired Daniel and said at the town hall that the new structure will take time to put in place and will be done in collaboration with other executives, including general entertainment content chairman Dana Walden, Disney Studios chief Alan Bergman, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro , and CFO Christine McCarthy.

Iger joked that his wife, Willow Bay, told him he should run Disney again so he wouldn’t run for president of the United States — something Iger has considered in the past.

This story is in development.

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