Culture at the Walt Disney Company

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In 2005 Bob Iger was named the new CEO for The Walt Disney Company. This took place at a time when the Disney Brand was said to be outdated, when analyst thought that there were too many Disney products that locked the quality that customers expected. (Robbins, 2012). Due to Disney’s declining reputation Iger decided to address that perception by implementing, what he calls, the Disney Difference. (Robbins, 2012). The Disney Difference would be what set Disney apart from all other media companies. It is “high quality creative content, backed up by a clear strategy for maximizing that content’s value across platforms and markets.” (Robbins, 2012).

The Walt Disney Company had grown too complex to be run in the autocratic manner of the previous CEO’s. One of the first changes Iger implemented was to take a “hands-off” approach and split up the key brands and to let them be ran as individual companies, Disney now comprises four divisions, multiple business models, and five key brands, Disney, ESPN, ABC, Marvel, and Pixar. (Reingold, 2012). Iger has made a name for himself as the leader that does more listening than talking. Jay Rasulo, EVP & CFO, says “I’ve heard Bob say more than once ‘If I can’t trust a person to so that, then I need a different person.’ And so we all are empowered to basically run those business areal. I would say that Bob has a states vs. federal philosophy.” (Reingold, 2012). When Disney announced their acquisition of Pixar in January 2006 they went through another big cultural change. Lasseter, head of Disney’s animation studios and Pixar says, “What’s interesting is that he [Iger] actually said most of the time the big companies come in and influence little companies when they buy them. He, in fact, wanted the opposite to happen.” (Reingold, 2012). This acquisition changed Disney fundamentally: No longer was Disney the only way. (Reingold, 2012). Disney also had to learn how to “loosen up” as Pixar is a very flexible organization in which...
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