Walt Disney chief’s top lieutenant departs after Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ controversy

Walt Disney chief’s top lieutenant departs after Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ controversy

Geoff Morrell, employed by means of Walt Disney this yr to run its communications and executive affairs groups, is leaving the corporate following its contentious fight with Florida’s governor over the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” invoice.

Morrell, who had up to now run communications at BP and the United States defence division, was once one of the crucial high-profile outdoor executives introduced in by means of Disney leader government Bob Chapek as he sought to place his stamp at the corporate following the retirement of his predecessor Bob Iger.

Morrell’s temporary tenure was once marked by means of the corporate’s chaotic reaction to regulation championed by means of Florida governor Ron DeSantis that restricted educating about LGBTQ problems in public basic colleges. Lots of Disney’s workers criticised Chapek for now not issuing a public commentary condemning the invoice, which was once enacted into regulation remaining month.

Days after writing in a memo that he would now not publicly condemn the regulation, Chapek reversed path. The U-turn landed Disney within the crosshairs of DeSantis, who has taken up cultural controversies as he seeks re-election this yr. Ultimate week the governor signed a invoice to revoke the leisure staff’s decades-old skill to control the world across the Walt Disney Global theme park, a transfer broadly observed as retaliation over the corporate’s complaint of his LGBTQ insurance policies.

Morrell’s temporary was once supposed to be broader than that of his predecessor, Zenia Mucha, the communications veteran identified for her bare-knuckle option to public members of the family.

Morrell’s twin roles will now be divided into two jobs. Kristina Schake, who has had roles within the Biden and Obama administrations and was once additionally deputy communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign, will run communications for the corporate. In a workforce memo, Chapek praised her “strategic approach and collaborative style”.

Horacio Gutierrez, Disney’s common recommend, will lead executive members of the family.

In a short lived memo observed by means of the FT, Morrell mentioned: “After three months in this new role, it has become clear to me that for a number of reasons it is not the right fit. After talking this over with Bob, I have decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.”

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