Preparing for its upcoming push toward online and streaming services, the Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. announced a corporate restructuring Wednesday that includes the creation of a "direct-to-consumer'' division.
The Direct-to-Consumer and International division will be chaired by Kevin Mayer, who has been Disney's chief strategy officer since 2015.
"Kevin is a proven leader who has played a critical role in bringing together the collection of creative and technological assets that will allow Disney to offer unparalleled entertainment experiences in a direct-to-consumer future,'' Disney Chairman/CEO Robert Iger said.
The new division will oversee the company's international media businesses along with Disney's streaming service that is scheduled to be introduced in late 2019 and will compete with Netflix, offering exclusive access to Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm productions. It would also likely oversee film and television productions the company is trying to acquire from 21st Century Fox. The division will also include the Disney's share of Hulu and its also-upcoming ESPN+ streaming service.
As part of the reorganization, Disney also combined its theme park and consumer products divisions into a single unit, while maintaining the Media Networks and Studio Entertainment divisions.
"With our unparalleled Studio and Media Networks serving as content engines for the company, we are combining the management of our direct-to-consumer distribution platforms, technology and international operations to deliver the entertainment and sports content consumers around the world want most, with more choice, personalization and convenience than ever before,'' Iger said.