December 27, 2016 - By Ruchi Gupta · 0 Comments
The Indian operations of the largest entertainment and media conglomerate in the world, Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), are set for a restructuring. The restructuring efforts will be done under the leadership of Mahesh Samat, the new managing director. Samat rejoined Walt Disney on October 25, 2016, after a four-year stint away.
The restructuring drive at the Indian unit of the entertainment and media conglomerate will focus on adopting a lean operating model which will align it with the international organizational set-up. Disney India’s current core strengths are the consumer products business and Hollywood films and this is what the unit will concentrate on.
After recording heavy losses, the production of Hindi films has been suspended. This has seen the departure of executives such as the head of interactive, Sameer Ganapathy and the head of revenue, Nikhil Gandhi. The departure of some of the executives was attributed to the ongoing restructuring efforts.
“Media networks business (all TV channels) also had two vice presidents – one for revenue, Gandhi, and one for content, Vijay Subramaniam. Disney was looking to have a single head. This prompted Gandhi to quit,” a source disclosed.
Various sources also say that there will be layoffs at Disney India with an estimated 350 employees expected to be retrenched in the months to come. At present Disney has a workforce of about 680 employees.
Though there was no official communication from Disney India, it is understood that the restructuring is motivated by the fact that the media and entertainment giant has not been able to replicate the success it enjoys in other markets in India. The development comes after Disney became the first movie studio to garner more than $7 billion in box office sales globally in one year. This is credited to a couple of blockbusters that the studio has released this year including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which did exceptionally well in its opening weekend.
In the last trading session held on December 23, 2015, shares of Walt Disney Co fell by 0.26 percent to close the day at $105.15.
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By Ruchi Gupta