Shortly after the Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox assets officially closed at 12:02 AM ET Tuesday, the deal’s architect, Disney CEO Bob Iger, sent an internal memo to the incumbent and newly added employees titled “A Historic Day for Our Company.”
In the note, Iger outlined Disney’s plans for the future, stressing its focus on building a straight-to-consumer business to take on Netflix and Amazon.
He also warned of “the challenging work of uniting our businesses” that lies ahead. “Our integration process will be an evolution, with some businesses impacted more than others,” Iger said, asking everyone for patience as the company goes through the process of combining the various businesses that is expected to result in about 4,000 or so layoffs. He stressed that “we’re committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide clarity” how people’s roles may be impacted.
There are currently no post-merger town hall meetings with Iger scheduled but one of his new top lieutenants, Walt Disney Television chairman Peter Rice, is expected to address the staffs of the companies’ merged TV divisions next week.
Here are key portions of Iger’s memo:
“I’d like to welcome our new colleagues, and thank employees on both sides of the deal for your patience and perseverance as we worked through the lengthy acquisition and regulatory process,” Iger wrote.
He then talked about the future.
“As you know, Disney has never been short on ambition. We’ve never been satisfied with the status quo, and our vision for this transformative era is our boldest yet. We are rapidly transforming our company to take full advantage of evolving consumer trends and emerging technology in order to thrive in this new and exciting time.
Our acquisition of 21st Century Fox was driven by our strong belief that the addition of these great businesses, brands, franchises and talent will allow us to move faster, reach farther and aim higher — especially when it comes to building direct connections with consumers “
Iger concluded his letter by addressing the uncertainty and anxiety stemming from the looming consolidation and the expected job cuts.
“I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us; that closing the deal was the finish line, rather than just the next milestone. What lies ahead is the challenging work of uniting our businesses to create a dynamic, global entertainment company with the content, the platforms, and the reach to deliver industry-defying experiences that will engage consumers around the world for generations to come.
Out integration process will be an evolution, with some businesses impacted more than others. We’ve made many critical decisions already, but some areas will require further evaluation. We may not have answers to all of your questions at this moment, but we understand how vital information is, and we’re committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide clarity regarding how your role may be impacted.”
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