Nelson peltz is a man accustomed to winning. So when his hedge fund, Trian Partners, called off a proxy fight for a seat on Disney’s board on February 9th, it was no surrender. A day earlier Bob Iger, Disney’s newly returned CEO, announced sweeping changes to the entertainment powerhouse of the sort Trian had sought.
A new organisational structure will shift power from bean-counters back to creative teams. That reverses the changes under Bob Chapek, whom Mr Iger hand-picked as successor in early 2020 and then replaced in November. Operating costs will be slashed by $2.5bn, with a further $3bn to be cut from content spending, together equivalent to 8% of expenses; 7,000 staff will go. To stanch financial losses at its Disney+ streaming service, in December Mr Iger raised subscription prices in America by 38%. Disney will sit out the “global arms race for subscribers”, he says. Instead, he hinted that it may license more of its catalogue to competing platforms to juice profits. To top it off, Disney will restart paying out dividends by the end of 2023.
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