As I was reading last week about how McKinsey was hired to help Disney streamline costs this year, it drew similarities to my time at Jarden when we merged with Newell in 2016. MK is a great firm, don’t get me wrong, but I continue to see this playbook applied that doesn’t always work. Centralization is not invariably the answer, especially in businesses with strong IP and nuanced relationships.
With news today that Bob Iger is returning to Disney as CEO after a roughly 3 year hiatus, it’s pretty clear that one of the main motives for this move has been the highly un-profitable Disney +, the company’s streaming arm, or as some call it, the new ‘cable’ bill. Like many companies that have legacy wholesale relationships, Disney is trying to make the economics of selling content directly to consumers sustainable. There are a lot of similarities between all the DTC brands today (Warby Parker, Casper, Away, AllBirds, Blue Apron, etc) and Disney+.