The Warner Bros. veteran joined Disney in 2019 following the Mouse House’s acquisition of key 21st Century Fox assets, and he was to serve as a layer between Dana Walden and the heads of the various Disney-owned TV studios.
However, the company undertook a major restructure in December 2020 to consolidate its content creation across streaming and linear. The move saw Disney Television Studios’ ABC Signature and 20th TV, which previously had reported to Hunegs, move under Walden with him leading the centralized Business Affairs, Production, Casting and Creative Talent Development & Inclusion teams.
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Through restructure, much of the business side of his role moved over to the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Group, run by Kareem Daniel.
Walden, who now is Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television, acknowledged in a note to staff (read it below) that Hunegs decided to leave after his responsibilities changed and the new role is “no longer the one he joined The Walt Disney Company to pursue.”
She thanked him, calling him a “gifted” executive who has “played a strong leadership role in our growth and evolution,” particularly during the pandemic. He will stay on through the end of the month, and a search for his successor is underway.
Hunegs is the second high-profile business figure to leave the company in the past six months. Ravi Ahuja, who was president of business operations and chief financial officer at Walt Disney Television, stepped down in November and joined Sony Pictures Entertainment as Chairman of Global Television Studios in March.
Here is Walden’s note to staff:
I am writing to you today to share the news that Craig Hunegs has decided to step down as President, Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. With the reorganization at our company, his responsibilities have changed and his new role is no longer the one he joined The Walt Disney Company to pursue.
We’ve achieved so much over the last two years as we’ve reinvented our segment, pivoting from a traditional media brand to a content-first entertainment company built for the future and Craig has played a strong leadership role in our growth and evolution. He’s a gifted executive, who has also done an excellent job of thoughtfully leading our teams during two years of significant change at our company and in our industry, especially in successfully guiding our productions safely through the COVID crisis. Additionally, he’s been a champion of the important work being done across DGE to create a more inclusive culture.
I am grateful for Craig’s contributions to our success and he is leaving at a time of great strength for our organization. He has been a trusted and valued colleague to me and to so many of us, and he will be missed.
Craig will be with us until the end of May to ensure a smooth transition and we’ll identify a successor in the coming months. In the meantime, please join me in wishing Craig the very best as he embarks on his next adventure.
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