Diane Jurgens, EVP and CIO at The Walt Disney Company, has exited the company. The departure was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Jurgens joined the entertainment giant in Oct. 2020 after serving as CTO at Australian mining, metals and energy company BHP. Disney did not respond to requests for comment.
At the time of Jurgens' hire, Disney was struggling with the financial toll of the pandemic.
From a balance sheet perspective, the company has made progress by being disciplined in capital allocation and prioritizing cash flow across the company coming out of the pandemic, said Kevin Lansberry, interim CFO, during its Q3 2023 earnings call in August. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing.
The company has laid off 7,000 workers, made a number of executive changes and restructured itself to put creativity at the center of the business and improve efficiencies.
Bob Iger, CEO at Disney, returned to Disney in Nov. 2022 after serving as CEO from 2005 to 2020. The company terminated its senior executive VP and chief human resources officer, Paul Richardson, without cause in April. Disney also appointed Lansberry as interim CFO in June after the previous executive filling the role, Christine McCarthy, left following a leave of absence.
The executive overhaul has led some industry analysts to equate the political intrigue at Disney to that in Game of Thrones.
“We made important management changes and efficiency improvements to create a more cost-effective, coordinated and streamlined approach to our operations,” said Iger during the August earnings call. “We aggressively reduced costs across the enterprise, and we're on track to exceed our initial goal of $5.5 billion in savings.”
In the era of streaming, entertainment companies are trying to get an ROI from their platforms, which has resulted in companywide overhauls. CIO Dive previously reported on Warner Bros. Discovery plans to migrate to one tech stack, merging the Discovery+ streaming platform with HBO Max in an effort to eliminate duplicative spend, reduce third-party vendors and explore automation adoption. The effort resulted in its platform Max, released in May to consumers.