Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, chairman of Marvel Entertainment, has been laid off at Disney. Marvel Entertainment will be folded into the larger Disney business units, a Disney spokesperson confirmed.
The move comes as Disney looks to eliminate 7,000 jobs in multiple rounds of layoffs that kicked off this week, in what CEO Bob Iger calls part of a “strategic realignment.”
Rob Grosser, a longtime third-party Marvel security consultant who is also considered to be Perlmutter’s fixer, is also out, according to two insiders with knowledge of the situation. In addition, Disney has terminated the employment of Rob Steffens, who served as co-president of Marvel Entertainment, and John Turitzin, who held the position of chief counsel for the same division.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Grosser had assisted in the investigation of media leaks at Marvel before, which included the incident in 2012 when the website Latino Review had revealed information about Marvel’s plans to release its first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film before it was officially announced. In an email that was posted on the same site, Grosser referred to Latino Review as a “fanboy” website.
“My name is Rob Grosser and I am an independent security consultant working for Marvel. I have worked as a security consultant for Marvel since 1982,” Grosser wrote in the email. “I am currently conducting an investigation on Marvel’s behalf regarding the dissemination of confidential, non-public information concerning Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“My goal is to accomplish this in a quiet manner,” the email added. “I do not want to see you or anyone else get into trouble nor do I want to see anyone’s career be tarnished because of this.”
Perlmutter tried, unsuccessfully, to shake up Disney’s board earlier this year by backing his longtime friend Nelson Peltz in a proxy fight. Perlmutter has long butted heads with Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Perlmutter joined Marvel Comics’ board of directors in 1993 and by 1997, established control of the Marvel Group with Avi Arad after it faced bankruptcy. In 2001, Perlmutter became vice chairman of Marvel and became CEO of Marvel Comics in 2005. After Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009, Perlmutter remained CEO but his frequent penny-pinching and refusal to greenlight female-led or POC-led films like “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel” put him in frequent conflict with Marvel Studios president and creative architect Kevin Feige.
In September 2015, Feige successfully moved Marvel Studios — the unit responsible for the wildly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and shows — out from under Perlmutter’s purview, with Feige reporting directly to then-Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. Perlmutter’s kingdom dwindled, especially as Marvel Television, which was also later moved under Feige’s control at Marvel Studios.
The New York Times first reported Perlmutter’s departure.