Disney fired Peter Rice, its chairman for general entertainment content, according to reports.
Sources claim that Rice was “ill-fit” with Disney’s corporate culture. Variety sources said that Rice was completely blindsided by the decision.
Rice was the chairman and was responsible to oversee Disney’s original entertainment programming as well as news programming on its streaming platforms. Rice was responsible in marketing and developing over 4,500 hours of Disney General Entertainment programming each year across more than 300 entertainment and news programs.
Rice was Disney’s partner in the 2019 purchase of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets. Rice began his career in Twentieth Century Fox’s marketing department in 1989.
Disney made Rice’s resignation public in a Thursday press release. Dana Walden, Walt Disney Television Chairman, would take his place.
Bob Chapek from Disney, CEO, described Walden as a “dynamic, collaborative leader” who helped to transform the company’s TV business into an entertainment powerhouse.
Walden joined Disney in 2019 with the acquisition 21st Century Fox. He will now report to Chapek.
Geoff Morrell, corporate affairs chief at Disney, left in April. Some thought Rice could be the next Chapek.
This announcement is made amid ongoing political struggles between Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor, and the entertainment mogul Ron DeSantis. Disney said that it would push for the repeal of this law by the state legislature or its adherence in courts after it was signed into effect in March.
Disney stock dropped more than 30% over the past year.