Why was Peter Rice Fired From Disney? What happened? Explained

The Walt Disney Company has fired Peter Rice. Let’s see why Peter Rice Fired from Disney, and what happened. According to three people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information, it has fired its most senior television content executive, citing a clash with Disney’s corporate culture.

 

Who is Peter Rice?

Mr. Rice, chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, a division of the company that produces more than 300 shows per year for platforms such as ABC, the Disney Channel, Disney+, Hulu, and FX, was ousted by Disney CEO Bob Chapek in a brief meeting on Wednesday, according to these people.

Mr. Rice, who previously oversaw ABC News, recently renewed his contract with Disney in August. It was active until the end of 2024. According to the sources, Disney will compensate him.

 

Peter Rice Fired from Disney

Disney confirmed that Mr. Rice would be leaving the company immediately, but declined to comment on why. Following his dismissal, Disney announced that Dana Walden, the chairwoman for entertainment for Walt Disney Television, would succeed him.

Ms. Walden has recently delivered hits such as “Abbott Elementary,” an ABC comedy, and “Only Murders in the Building,” a Hulu comedic crime drama.

“Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who has transformed our television business into a content powerhouse in just three years,” Mr. Chapek said in a statement. “She and Peter have collaborated for years to produce the best programming in the industry.”

What happened?

Rice has annoyed some coworkers at Disney by monopolizing knowledge rather than sharing it with coworkers, a strategy that may have worked at Fox but was unsuitable at Disney, according to a source familiar with the situation.

He had a disagreement with Kevin Mayer, the former Disney chief of streaming, over who should have to greenlight authority over Disney+ material.

Despite this, Rice backed Chapek’s organizational reforms, which gave him the authority to speak directly with Hollywood stars about whether their work would be chosen by Disney, according to another source. Rice was paid an unknown sum, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Mr.Chapek about Mr. Rice

Mr. Rice did not respond. Mr. Rice’s dismissal was met with a resounding sonic boom in Hollywood, where he is widely admired. Many people in the entertainment industry (at least those outside of Disney) have speculated that Mr. Rice could be the next CEO of Disney.

Mr. Chapek’s decision will undoubtedly raise questions about whether the chatter became too loud; Mr. Chapek has had a difficult few months, with Disney becoming a political punching bag, particularly for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Disney’s stock price plummeting sharply amid industrywide concerns about the profitability of streaming services.

Who is Mr.Chapek?

Mr. Chapek fired the company’s most senior communications and government relations executive in April; the executive, Geoff Morrell, had joined Disney on a multi-year contract in January.

Disney also compensated him. On Thursday, Disney shares closed just above $103, a drop of nearly 4%, which was greater than the broader market’s drop of about 2%.

Susan E. Arnold, chairwoman of Disney’s board, said in an emailed statement that Mr. Chapek had the board’s support — a rare public comment indicating that, despite the turmoil, Mr. Chapek’s contract will be renewed. His current contract is set to expire in February.

 

Disney board members about Mr. Rice

Ms. Arnold stated, “The resilience of the Walt Disney Company’s companies emerging from the epidemic is a credit to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future.”

“We are dedicated to keeping Disney on the successful road it is on today during this critical time of corporate development and transformation, and Bob and his leadership team have the Board’s support and trust.”

Mr. Rice was never considered a candidate for chief executive, according to another Disney board member who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss company concerns.

 

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