The Walt Disney Studios announced a major reorganization of its top executives at the motion picture studio on Wednesday, with a new emphasis on overseeing distribution as the movie release landscape continues to shift.
Rich Ross, the new studio chairman of The Walt Disney Studios (TWDS), said the restructuring of the studio’s marketing, distribution, and operations division "reflect a new strategic direction for bringing content to the global marketplace. This will give the studio the flexibility, strength and competitive edge it needs to move forward."
Bob Chapek (pictured left), who previously ran the home entertainment division, will become president of distribution. Studio veteran Chuck Viane will report to Chapek, the studio said.
Production president Oren Aviv (pictured below, left) will get added responsibilities, as will Alan Bergman (pictured right). Jim Gallagher, president of marketing, is resigning.
Mark Zoradi, who was president of the studios, resigned on Monday following the resignation two months ago of studio chairman Dick Cook.
In addition, about 20 executives and employees, including Gallagher, were let go on Wednesday. A new marketing president will be announced soon.
The studio declined to identify those who were laid off. But according to others at the company, they included Teri Meyer and Jasmine Madatian of the feature publicity department.
In a news release, the company said:
"Under this reorganization, Bob Chapek will take on the new role of president, Distribution, TWDS, and will be responsible for developing distribution strategy and overseeing the delivery of all motion pictures and television content, across the
theatrical exhibition, home entertainment, pay TV, digital formats, and other new me
"In the Marketing division, a new president will be announced shortly to oversee marketing for live-action, animation, Miramax Films, DreamWorks, and Home Entertainment.
"Alan Bergman, president, TWDS, will take on the new duties of overseeing Studio Franchises, Post Production,
Disneynature and The Muppets Studio, while continuing to guide operations including Business Affairs, Legal
Affairs, and Finance. Aviv, president of production, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, will take on the added responsibility of Physical Production. All four business heads will report to Ross."
A former Pixar technology head, Greg Brandeau, will assume the role of chief technology officer, reporting to Ross.
Read more about the shakeup here: