Geoff Morrell out of Disney after three months

Geoff Morrell out of Disney after three months

Geoff Morrell out of Disney after three months

Geoff Morrell, director of general affairs for The Walt Disney Co., is leaving after just three months on the job “to pursue other opportunities,” Morrell and Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Friday.

“After three months in this new role, it has become clear to me that for a number of reasons this is not the right fit,” Morrell told employees in an email.

The former BP executive and Bush-era Pentagon spokesman joined Disney earlier this year in the new role, which included overseeing Disney’s communications government relations and public policy efforts.

These three areas have been tested in recent months as the company navigates its response to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. After initially arguing that Disney should remain as apolitical as possible, Chapek and the company faced backlash from employees who felt she didn’t have her back.

Ultimately, the company would take a public stand against the bill, but by then it was too late and was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis a few weeks later. After the signing, Disney argued that it should be repealed or overturned in court.

This stance in turn angered Republican state lawmakers, who passed a bill (which DeSantis also signed) revoking Disney’s Special District around Walt Disney World.

Chapek told staff that Kristina Schake will lead global communications going forward, reporting to her, with government relations and public policy led by Disney general counsel Horacio Gutierrez. Schake had joined Disney earlier this month, reporting to Morrell.

“Kristina has a strategic approach and a collaborative style, as well as an unrelenting optimism and a strong appreciation for our brand and her place in the world,” Chapek wrote of Schake. “These attributes will be invaluable as she strives to protect and enhance our reputation.”

Read Chapek’s email to staff below.

Team-

I am writing to share the news that Geoff Morrell, our General Affairs Manager, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Fortunately, the strength and experience of our existing management team, including relatively recent recruits, means there is no shortage of talent to guide our reputation functions. With the departure of Geoff, I am pleased to share the following changes:

First, Kristina Schake will lead the communications efforts of The Walt Disney Company, as Executive Vice President, Global Communications, reporting directly to me. In this expanded role, Kristina will oversee corporate and industry communications and continue to be our primary spokesperson. Our Heads of Business Lines and Content Communications will continue to report to both Division Leadership and Corporate Communications, now led by Kristina.

We are incredibly lucky to have Kristina with us at this important time. His more than 30 years of experience includes roles leading President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine education program, communications for Instagram, and leadership positions in political campaigns and the Obama White House. . Kristina has a strategic approach and a collaborative style, as well as an unrelenting optimism and a strong appreciation for our brand and its place in the world. These attributes will be invaluable as she strives to protect and enhance our reputation, and I look forward to working more closely with her.

Next, Government Relations and Global Public Policy will now be led by our General Counsel, Horacio Gutierrez. Since joining the company earlier this year, Horacio has integrated seamlessly into the Disney family and has quickly become a valuable advisor to me and the management team on a wide range of issues. His vast experience leading these areas will be extremely helpful in guiding our efforts.

In addition to her current direct reports, Susan Fox, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, and Yvonne Pei, Senior Vice President of External Relations for Greater China, will join Dorothy Attwood, Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy, in reporting directly to Horacio.

Finally, Jenny Cohen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, will now report solely to me in her role of leading our CSR and ESG efforts. Jenny is a strong leader and has done an incredible job of modernizing our approach in key areas like environmental sustainability, community investment and philanthropy.

I have incredible confidence in this team and look forward to working with them and all of our leaders to set Disney’s course for the next 100 years of amazing entertainment and experiences.

#Geoff #Morrell #Disney #months

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