Ricky Strauss, President, of Programming & Content Curation for Disney+ and Hulu, has confirmed he is leaving The Walt Disney Company after nine years.
Rebecca Campbell, Disney’s Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International, announced the news of Strauss’ departure internally, citing “personal reasons”, while Strauss also shared the news with his staff himself.
The news comes on the heels of mass restructuring at Disney as it focuses on streaming. Disney+’s EVP marketing and operations Joe Earley will step up and add Content Curation for Disney+ to his duties and continue to report to Michael Paull, President at Disney+ and ESPN+.
Tentpole movies that Disney delivered under Strauss’ tenure include Frozen, Inside-Out, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Marvel’s The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Strauss’ internal memo:
After nine years with The Walt Disney Company, and much contemplation over the past several months, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to move on to pursue new creative endeavors. It took much thought and consideration, but with our new structure and the changes to my role, the reorganization does not provide me with the opportunity to do the kind of work I love to do and to continue making the intended impact I have been so fortunate to have achieved at Disney.
It has been a privilege to help create the roadmap to launch Disney+ to fans around the world during the past several years. I’ve met so many personal goals I set out for myself, and, as a company, we’ve achieved far more than I would have ever imagined. None of this would have been possible without the Company’s thoughtful risk-taking and strong focus on creating dynamic entertainment and value for our consumers.
I am incredibly grateful to have had the chance to work for a company that I always dreamed of as a kid — and have been able to play a role in defining its future. The launch of Disney+ was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – and I will never forget the journey we traveled together.
While I will be here through the end of the month to help Rebecca and the senior team with any transition needs, I wanted to take the time now to personally thank all of you as it will be the daily interactions and shared moments with each of you that I will miss most.
Finally, I would be remiss not to share how appreciative I am of the leadership, guidance and support of Rebecca, Kareem, Bob Chapek and Bob Iger for their understanding around this very personal decision of mine to set off on a new adventure.
With great appreciation, admiration and love,