LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co announced a reorganization on Wednesday that will create a new direct-to-consumer and international unit as the entertainment company adapts to a rapid shift toward online and mobile viewing.
Kevin Mayer, the company’s chief strategy officer, was named chairman of the new division, which will oversee the launch of a family-oriented streaming service in late 2019, Disney said in a statement.
The move, effective immediately, comes as Disney is in the process of purchasing film, TV and international businesses from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. Regulators are reviewing the deal, which has been complicated by Comcast Corp’s offer for one of the assets, Britain’s Sky Plc.
Disney also combined its theme parks business with the consumer products unit that licenses characters for toys, apparel and other merchandise. Bob Chapek, the current head of the parks division, will oversee the combined unit.
Media networks and the movie studio will remain separate units, Disney said.
Disney shares were up slightly at $104.09 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Bernadette Baum
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