10 JUN 2022

Dana Walden takes over as Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content

The Walt Disney Company has named Dana Walden as Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, succeeding Peter Rice, who was fired from his post for reasons the company did not specify.

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Dana Walden

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The Walt Disney Company has named Dana Walden as Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, it was announced today by Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of the group. Walden succeeds Peter Rice, who was fired from his post for reasons the company did not specify.

In this role, Walden will lead the company’s general entertainment content engine that creates original entertainment and news programming for Disney’s streaming platforms and its cable and broadcast networks. She will have oversight of ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content, and Onyx Collective. She will report directly to Chapek.

“Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who in just three years has transformed our television business into a content powerhouse that consistently delivers the entertainment audiences crave. Her well-earned reputation for championing creative talent and developing programming that truly captures the cultural zeitgeist has resulted in hit after hit. She and Peter have worked closely together for years to create the best programming in the industry, and I can think of no one better than Dana to lead Disney General Entertainment to even greater heights,”  Chapek commented.

“It is an incredible honor to be asked to lead this amazingly talented team. They are truly the absolute best in every respect, and I am grateful to Bob for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Disney General Entertainment’s culture of creative excellence and originality has made us home to many of the most talented creators in the business. I am humbled to lead this team, and I am confident that together, we will continue to build on the foundation of culture-defining entertainment we have achieved so far,”  Walden declared.

Walden joined Disney in 2019 with the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and in her role leading Entertainment for Walt Disney Television, she oversaw Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation and Walt Disney Television Alternative), the original entertainment slates and content marketing for ABC, Freeform, Hulu Originals, and Onyx Collective.

On the other hand, Rice also originally came to Disney through the 21st Century Fox acquisition completed in 2019. His departure is completely unexpected, as his contract was renewed last August and ran until the end of 2024. According to internal sources, Rice was even viewed by many as a potential successor to Chapek if the Disney board wanted to make a change.