Bob Iger He returned to Disney headquarters on Monday to meet with employees for the first time since surprising the media world with his return as CEO last week.
Iger discussed several issues facing the company including Disney’s current hiring freeze and what he plans to focus on when it comes to the Disney+ streaming platform. He also highlighted his first priority when he takes back the reins: creativity.
Iger told employees during a city council meeting at the company’s Burbank, California headquarters that Disney’s hiring freeze will remain in place — for now.
Iger said it was a “prudent thing to do” to keep the freeze in place given the challenges facing the company. He also stated that the duration of the hiring moratorium would be a factor as it addresses Disney’s overall “cost structure”.
The announcement of Iger’s return comes at a time of great difficulty and intense scrutiny for Disney, which is facing challenges across its media empire. This includes a stock price that has been sluggish all year, and a streaming business that is growing but losing money.
Iger said that when he left the company last year, the success of Disney broadcasts was measured by many different metrics, but the main factor was growth. That has since shifted to focusing on the “bottom line” and “how much we lose and when we will be profitable,” Egger said.
Instead of “pursuing subscriptions with aggressive marketing and serious content spending,” he said, the company needs to start “pursuing profitability.” In order to do that, Disney needs to “take a very, very hard look” at the cost structure across its business, he said.
But Iger said the company’s main focus should be: “creativity,” which the returning CEO said was his number one priority.
“A number of you who’ve worked with me know that I’m obsessed with it,” Iger said of Disney’s creative muscles. “But I’m obsessed with it for a reason. It’s what drives the company.”
Iger said that it is not about how much Disney creates, but rather how “cool things we create”.
Egger wasted no time in making his mark on the company. Soon after he was announced as CEO, he reorganized Disney Content Distribution Structure Karim Daniel, the company’s head of media and entertainment distribution unit, will be leaving Disney, he said.
Earlier Monday, on his first day at the Walt Disney Studio, Iger tweeted a photo of the Disney headquarters and said, “Full of gratitude and excitement to be back.”
“Beer buff. Devoted pop culture scholar. Coffee ninja. Evil zombie fan. Organizer.”