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Entertainment

The People With Power at Disney’s Media Distribution Group

Hulu, one of the pioneers of video streaming, has become a training ground for the entire industry as key executives flock to newer rival services. And that raises potential challenges for Disney’s own streaming ambitions.

Since Walt Disney Co. took control of Hulu two years ago, a slew of key Hulu executives in engineering, marketing and product has left for competitors. Hulu’s former head of product, Jim Denney, is now heading product for NBCU’s Peacock streaming service. Hulu’s former marketing chief, Patrizio Spagnoletto, is now playing that role at Discovery’s direct-to-consumer business, the corporate name for streaming. Hulu’s former content acquisition chief Lisa Holme now runs content strategy for Discovery+. And one of Hulu’s top engineers, Rafael Soltanovich, is now working on Amazon’s video offering.

The departures coincided with Hulu’s integration into Disney’s streaming operation, which itself has been shaken up by a reorganization after Bob Chapek took over as Disney CEO, succeeding Bob Iger. Chapek last fall restructured Disney’s media and entertainment operations, putting distribution functions—including streaming services and TV networks as well as advertising—under Kareem Daniel, who previously ran Disney’s consumer products, games and publishing operations. In this article, we’re updating our Disney streaming org chart to show the senior management layers in Daniel’s org, including the streaming "direct-to-consumer" arm which is overseen by Rebecca Campbell. The chart includes over 100 names.

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