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Disney Company Names New CEO for Unprecedented Joint Venture

by Staff

Credit: Disney, ESPN (Edit ITM)

A new CEO has been announced for Disney’s latest innovation.

ESPN Logo
Credit: Disney

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A new CEO has been named for the upcoming joint venture with Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. These titans of industry announced a new partnership earlier this year, revealing that the trio would be joining forces in order to create a brand-new, never-before-seen streaming service centered around sports entertainment.

This new platform will be launching this fall and will offer quite an expansive catalog of sports networks, covering fan-favorite channels like ESPN, ACC Network, ABC, Fox, truTV, and ESPN+. Pete Distad, former Apple TV+ executive, has been named CEO of this new venture, according to The New York Times.

The companies already operate a plethora of streaming content and platforms like Disney+ and MAX and will undoubtedly continue to dominate the sector with this new sports-focused venture.

Pete Distad named CEO of new Disney streaming platform.Pete Distad named CEO of new Disney streaming platform.
Credit: ESPN

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This announcement came Friday evening after weeks of silence as to who would be handed the keys to this new sports kingdom. Under this new role, Distad will be responsible for the distribution and marketing of the new venture once it’s officially released. Distad will be based out of Los Angeles during his time as CEO. Distad helped to cultivate Hulu into one of the most popular and successful streaming platforms in the world.

Distad stated that he was looking forward to pulling together “industry-leading sports content portfolios” from the three massive companies.

“This is an incredible opportunity to build and grow a differentiated product that will serve passionate sports fans in the U.S. outside of the traditional pay TV bundle,” Distad said. Distad also helped to strike incredibly important deals during his time at Apple.

All three companies expressed strong support and confidence in Distad, calling him an “accomplished innovator and leader” with “extensive experience with launching and growing new video services” in a statement. “We are confident he and his team will build an extremely compelling, fan-focused product for our target market,” stated the trio of companies.

Bob Iger looking at watch with Disney+ catalog of shows in the backgroundBob Iger looking at watch with Disney+ catalog of shows in the background
Credit: Inside the Magic

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Iger made streaming a top priority during his brief time back as CEO, with Disney’s Disney+ streaming platform yet to turn a profit. Michael Eisner was CEO of The Walt Disney Company when it purchased ESPN, but Iger helped maintain and grow it into one of the world’s largest entertainment products the world has ever seen. The Disney veteran has served multiple decades at the company, leading it through some of its hardest times as well as most fruitful.

While exciting, this announcement comes amidst one of the most chaotic and hectic times Disney has seen, with the company facing lawsuits in Florida as well as corporate pushback and criticism from shareholders. CEO Bob Iger will remain at the helm until 2026, but this has not stopped Trian Fund founder Nelson Peltz and former Walt Disney Company executive Jay Rasulo from attacking and undermining him every chance they get. The two are behind the recent “Restore The Magic” movement, which claims Iger is a bad fit for Disney and is leading the company down the wrong path. The two seek to grab a few board seats on the Walt Disney Board of Directors at the upcoming shareholders meeting, with support from other major public figures wavering.

Rasulo has continuously called out Disney, stating the company is “broken” and creatively bankrupt. Rasulo thinks Disney is headed in the wrong direction and blames Bob Iger for all of its current struggles.

Stay tuned here for more information regarding The Walt Disney Company. 

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