Disney has long been celebrated as a place “where dreams come true,” and thanks to a reorganization of the company, former intern Kareem Daniel has just been named Chairman of the Media and Entertainment Division.
In a position created by new boss Bob Chapek, the 46-year-old will oversee the company’s global content distribution and streaming services – an area where he will focus more on following the success of Disney+.
Through the reorganization, the 14-year-old company veteran, who recently headed Disney’s consumer products division, has assumed a key oversight role.
Previously, he led Disney’s imaging department, where he was responsible for the global design and delivery of all parks, attractions, resort hotels and cruise ships, as well as leading product design and publishing and games.
He was also Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and prior to that, Vice President of Distribution Strategy at Walt Disney Studios.
Under his supervision, Disney introduced two Star Wars-themed countries in California and Florida and Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World. He also oversaw the construction of a Marvel Theme Land that is scheduled to open soon.
In an interview with Morgan Park Academy, where Daniel attended high school, the avowed film buff said that a high point in his career was “being a member of the team that worked on the Marvel acquisition in 2009.
Daniel, who holds a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from Stanford University, is the first black person to report directly to the CEO as a department head.
Bob Chapek not only recruited him for this new role, but was also behind Daniel’s first step into the company by hiring him as an intern in 2007 when he graduated from graduate school.
“I am honored to lead this new organization at such a critical and exciting time for our company and I am grateful to [Chapek] for giving me this opportunity,” Daniel said in a statement.
The reorganization of the company is one of Chapek’s biggest steps since he became chairman of the board in February, following the resignation of Robert A. Iger. Three divisions will be created – studios, general entertainment and sports – that will focus on content, and another that will handle content distribution.
Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-customer business, we are strategically positioning our company to support our growth strategy more effectively and increase value for our shareholders.
“By separating content creation and distribution, we can more effectively and flexibly deliver the content consumers want most in the way they prefer to consume it.
The new structure aims to compensate for the heavy loss the company has suffered when the coronavirus destroyed significant revenues from closed theme parks, travel, advertising, live sports and movies.
The company will develop and produce original content for its streaming services and its legacy platforms such as Hulu, ESPN+ and the upcoming international streaming service Star.