Some massive shifts are happening at the Walt Disney Company. Disney Entertainment co-chair Dana Walden shook things up as she solidified her Senior Team. This change was big for Walden, marking her most significant move yet.
Dana Walden is Shaking Things Up
Since being promoted to co-chair of Disney Entertainment, the public has eagerly awaited Dana Walden’s first big move. It finally happened this week in the form of a memo where Walden announced some big shakeups within the company. Walden addressed her colleagues with a well-informed plan of how she would best reorganize her team to suit her needs as a leader.
Walden’s New Dream Team
In the memo, she breaks down that she will be shifting responsibilities for many of her colleagues. The memo makes it clear that Onyx Collective, a content brand now owned and operated by Disney Entertainment, is a massive focus for Walden. Tara Duncan will now focus solely on Onyx, which means Walden is relinquishing her previous responsibilities that she had for Freeform. Simran Sethi will take on Duncan’s duties at Freeform while also still holding on to her role at ABC Entertainment.
Courtney Monroe will now oversee all aspects of National Geographic, which Walden seems excited about. Monroe and Duncan will now report directly to John Landgraf. This restructuring is a massive boost for both Landgraf and Sethi, as they both have been given a lot more responsibility.
The full letter from Walden reads:
Since the announcement of Disney Entertainment, I’ve spent time thinking about how to organize my team in a way that will enable me to focus on my newly expanded role in partnership with Alan. I will continue to rely on the same incredible leaders who have delivered hit after hit onto our platforms and into our rich library, but I have made some changes to our structure, which are outlined below:
- Onyx Collective remains a huge priority, and as its impressive roster of creators and series continues to grow, Tara Duncan will now focus exclusively on Onyx.
- National Geographic Content recently earned its third Oscar nomination and has attracted some of the biggest stars to its impressive series and doc films slate. Courteney Monroe will now oversee all aspects of the brand, including its digital footprint and iconic magazine, along with its original content strategy.
- Tara and Courteney will now report directly to John Landgraf, combining the strength of three prestigious brands.
- As Tara’s focus shifts to Onyx, Freeform programming and development will be combined with ABC Entertainment, and Simran Sethi will oversee both. This represents Simran’s return to a brand she helped launch. She will continue to report to Craig Erwich.
- Over the past six months, Ayo Davis and Craig have worked together very successfully on Disney Branded Television streaming originals. Ayo will continue to report to Craig for streaming, and now that structure will expand to also include the development and programming of Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
- Debra OConnell, who recently joined my leadership team, will continue to oversee networks and ABC Owned Television Stations, and will add research, labor relations and TV business operations to her purview.
- Disney Television Studios will remain under Eric Schrier, who will expand his responsibilities to include our global original television strategy, working closely with our talented regional leaders.
Great stories are the lifeblood of our company, and I will remain deeply connected to the creative side of our business. As we begin our new chapter together, I have the utmost confidence in this team of proven and formidable leaders. I am very grateful to Bob for reuniting and realigning our company in such a meaningful way.
I want you all to know how much I appreciate your passion and your pursuit of excellence, which will be key to our success in the months and years ahead.
Walden’s restructuring is a big first move for the new co-chair. These changes could likely be a determining factor in how she succeeds in this position moving forward. Fans of the Walt Disney Company will be eager to see how these changes pan out for Walden and her new Senior Team.