Bob Iger Memo Says Employees Should Be In Office – The Hollywood Reporter

Hybrid employees at Disney must return to the office four days a week starting March 1, according to a new memo from CEO Bob Iger.

In a memo to employees Monday, Iger emphasized his belief in the benefit of working together in person. This is one of several big workplace changes Iger is expected to make since returning to lead the company in November.

“I also wanted to let you know that, as I’ve been meeting with teams throughout the Company over the past few months, I’ve been reminded of the tremendous value in being together with the people you work with. As you’ve heard me say many times, creativity is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do at Disney. And in a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors,” the memo reads.

Employees will be asked to return to work in the offices from Monday through Thursday, according to the memo.

Analysts and insiders have been expecting Iger to make sweeping changes in an effort to reshape the company’s streaming strategy and also prioritize decision-making by creatives. One of his first big moves was starting to reorganize the Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution division and to part ways with its head, Kareem Daniel, who was a top lieutenant for former CEO Bob Chapek.

“Certainly, this is a moment of tremendous change — for our Company, for our industry, and for the global economy — but despite the challenges, at my core I remain an optimist,” Iger wrote in the memo.

Iger also praised the box office performance of Avatar: The Way of Water and other sectors within the company, while also speaking about ESPN’s handling of Damar Hamlin’s injury on air and “showing grace under pressure, and presenting the facts to viewers with utter respect and sensitivity.”

Iger’s full memo is below.

Dear Fellow Employees,

Happy New Year! I hope you all found time to rest and recharge during the holidays. Since returning to Disney, I’ve been busy catching up on the many exciting projects underway across all our businesses, and I have been inspired by your boundless creativity and the remarkable success of so many of your recent endeavors.

I thought I would mention a few:

For the 7th consecutive year, Walt Disney Studios was the number-one studio at the box office, and last week, Avatar: The Way of Water became the 7th highest grossing film of all time, and its success is only continuing to grow. The Lion King celebrated its 25th anniversary on Broadway in November — one of only three productions in history to achieve this incredible milestone. Disney General Entertainment shows received an industry-leading number of mentions across year-end “Best of” lists, including seven of the top 15 most critically acclaimed television shows of the year. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products finished the year strong as guests celebrated their holiday traditions and ring in the new year at Disney destinations around the world, and Walt Disney Imagineering marked 70 years of groundbreaking innovation and storytelling. And I would be remiss not to mention how the ESPN team expertly handled Damar Hamlin’s tragic injury, showing grace under pressure, and presenting the facts to viewers with utmost respect and sensitivity. Accomplishments like these remind me of how special our Company is.

I also wanted to let you know that, as I’ve been meeting with teams throughout the Company over the past few months, I’ve been reminded of the tremendous value in being together with the people you work with. As you’ve heard me say many times, creativity is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do at Disney. And in a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors. It is my belief that working together more in-person will benefit the Company’s creativity, culture, and our employees’ careers.

Starting March 1, employees currently working in a hybrid fashion will be asked to spend four days a week on-site, targeting Monday through Thursday as in-person workdays. Stay tuned for additional details.

As we embark on a new year, Disney’s historic 100th anniversary, and all the opportunities before us, we have so many reasons to be excited about the future. Certainly, this is a moment of tremendous change — for our Company, for our industry, and for the global economy — but despite the challenges, at my core I remain an optimist.

Thank you. It’s an honor to be able to work alongside you.

Best,
Bob

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