Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn Tells Fox Staff to Prepare for ‘Quite a Bit of Change’

Disney closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets on Wednesday

Last Updated: March 21, 2019 @ 9:54 AM

Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn and president Alan Bergman sent an email to Fox staff on Thursday asking for patience as the company begins its new journey following the multibillion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV assets.

Horn and Bergman said they plan to make announcements soon regarding the company’s leadership structure, but that it will take some time to reach a fully integrated state.

“Although there is much to look forward to, we know this integration will entail quite a bit of change across our organizations,” Horn and Bergman wrote in the memo. “We want to acknowledge that and assure you we are committed to engaging in this process thoughtfully and communicating changes as we are able.

“Day-to-day, our top priorities remain the same: to support the great content we’re creating and deliver a superb experience to our consumers, and to continue to build an inspiring, inclusive environment where employees can bring their best to work every day,” they continued.

On Wednesday, Disney closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets. Now starts the arduous process of merging the two giant companies, which is expected to result in massive layoffs.

The company has already set some of its senior leadership under the new structure, announcing in October that Emma Watts will make the move to Disney’s studio entertainment management team, reporting directly to Horn as vice chairman for Twentieth Century Fox Film and president of production at Fox.

Disney also said that Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula will stay on as co-chairmen for Fox Searchlight and will also report directly to Horn, along with Elizabeth Gabler, who will serve as president of production at Fox 2000.

Read the full email below:

With the announcement that the Disney-Fox deal is officially complete, we begin an exciting new chapter in the history of both our companies and the industry. This is a major piece of the bold strategy Bob Iger has set for The Walt Disney Company as our business rapidly evolves.

It’s astounding and humbling to consider the rich, dynamic legacies of these storied studios and the endless possibilities ahead as we unite them. It’s not something we take for granted as leaders, and we are looking forward to working together to build a team of unparalleled creativity and innovation.

We’ve learned a lot in meetings held prior to deal close, yet there are many things that could not be discussed for regulatory reasons. We are happy to now have the chance to really understand and share how we operate at the ground level – and we realize we are only at the beginning of the process. 

Although there is much to look forward to, we know this integration will entail quite a bit of change across our organizations. We want to acknowledge that and assure you we are committed to engaging in this process thoughtfully and communicating changes as we are able – most importantly with respect for all involved.

We’ll be making announcements very soon about our senior leadership structure. It will take some time to reach our future fully integrated state. Day-to-day, our top priorities remain the same: to support the great content we’re creating and deliver a superb experience to our consumers, and to continue to build an inspiring, inclusive environment where employees can bring their best to work every day.

As we start this journey of bringing together the combined might of Disney and 21st Century Fox to create the best entertainment studio, we’d like to thank you all for everything you’ve done to bring us to this point and for your continued focus, support, and patience as we proceed.

Sincerely,

Alan Horn

Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios

Alan Bergman

President, The Walt Disney Studios