Earlier this week, Disney announced that Christine McCarthy, who is the company’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Christine M. McCarthy, would be stepping down from her role and taking a family medical leave of absence, effective from July 1st 2023.    It was also announced at the same time, that veteran Disney executive Kevin Lansberry, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, will serve as the company’s Interim CFO.

The news that Christine McCarthy, sent ripple effects across the internet, as while many fans might not know who she is or what she does within Disney, she had lots of influence and power over the company.  She was one of the major reasons why Bob Chapek was pushed out as the CEO of Disney and why Bob Iger returned.

This year, Disney has been going on a major cost-cutting exercise to trim down its spending and to make its streaming services profitable. With a target of a saving of $5.5 billion, which is coming from reducing the amount of general entertainment they are making and also the loss of 7000 jobs.

As the CFO, her main role is to look at the finances of the company, and she recently revealed during the last quarterly financial investors call that they would be removing $1.8 billion dollars worth of content from Disney+ and Hulu, which is why we lost shows like “Willow” and “Big Shot” from Disney.

While the official line is that she is taking a family medical leave of absence, to look after her husband, according to the Wall Street Journal, there have been many internal disagreements with Bob Iger and many of the top executives at Disney.  She has felt that Disney is spending too much on creating new shows and films, plus feels that the recent restructuring didn’t go far enough to streamline the company.

As part of the restructuring, Disney was split into three divisions, Entertainment, ESPN and Consumer Products, Parks & Resorts.  Christine was pushing for more consolidation within the Disney Entertainment Division, which includes Disney+, to improve profit margins and to get a much learner structure, similar to Netflix.  This position put her at odds with Disney Entertainment’s executives.

And we will likely see some more restructuring within the entertainment division later down the road, especially with the impending expensive purchase of Hulu from Comcast and how that will be merged in with Disney+.  There has been many reports and speculation that some of the television studios could still be merged together, such as ABC and 20th Television, but we will have to wait and see.   Disney has already stated it will be focusing more on making content based on its core brands and making less general entertainment content, but how much less would have been made had Christine McCarthy gotten her way?

Between the shift from linear to streaming, the pandemic, a slowdown in the economy and political issues, Disney is suffering right now and is making big changes to fix these issues, but as with all big corporations, these take time, which is also ticking away, as with the sudden exit of the Chief Financial Officer, this does make Bob Iger’s role more difficult, as while he is only supposed to be in the role of CEO until the end of next year, tasked with trying to steer the company in the right direction, sort out its future plans and find a replacement, finding a full-time CFO, could end up extending his stay at the top of the company.

What do you think of Christine McCarthy’s clashes with Disney executives?  Let us know on social media!




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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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