Joe Earley continues to climb the ranks at Disney.
The former Fox executive has been named president of direct-to-consumer entertainment at Disney, effectively adding Disney+ to a lineup that already includes Hulu. Earl will fill the vacancy created by Michael Paull, who had served as president of direct-to-consumer at Disney Entertainment since January 2022, after joining the House of Mouse in late 2017. He left Disney after a six-year run.
“Joe has proven that he is a unique asset and is uniquely positioned in this role to lead Disney’s future strategy,” said Alan Bergman and Dana Walden, who made the announcement Wednesday. “His vast industry experience and depth of understanding of what makes our portfolio of brands the most valuable will be essential as we build on our strong direct-to-consumer efforts. Crow is a talented, passionate leader, committed to creative excellence, and we look forward to working with him in this next chapter.
In his new role, Earl will work with content teams across the company to grow streaming efforts, programming and engagement across Disney+ and Hulu. Hulu will continue to lead until a successor is identified for the role. The news comes as Disney and NBCUniversal have been competing over Hulu’s ratings in the press. Disney retains a controlling stake in the streamer and has until 2024 to make a decision on whether to buy out Comcast.
Earl joined Disney in early 2019 and led marketing and operations in the lead-up to the launch of Disney+ in November 2019. He joined the content of the treatment services in 2021 as a streamer distributed throughout the world. He was named president of Hulu in January 2022.
“Disney Customer Support+ was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Hulu was inspiring and rewarding,” Earl said in a statement. “I’m incredibly grateful to Dana and Alan for their trust and the opportunity to lead both of these incredible teams through this time of transformation across the landscape.”
The new role comes after Earl previously spent more than two decades as chief operating officer at the former Fox Television Group, where he oversaw marketing, digital, research, scheduling, audience strategy and more for the group, which once included the Fox network and Disney’s now 20th television studio. controlled After leaving Fox, Earley became the president of the indie studio The Jackal Group alongside former Fox co-founder Gail Berman.
The corporate promotion comes two months after Walden and Bergman budgeted for streaming and international as part of a company-wide reorganization under CEO Bob Iger that returned awards to creative executives and pulled former CEO Bob Chapek from Disney’s Media and Entertainment division division. At the time, Paull — who had helped and helped become the head of ESPN+ — was going to report to Kareem Daniels. Daniel was Chapek’s chief lieutenant and the DMED division went through. After reviving the dormant Disney industry, Iger was the company’s CEO to replace Chapek, Daniel was the first to go. Earlier they referred to the structure of Paul under Chapek and Daniel.
Paull’s exit comes as Disney is in the process of eliminating an estimated 7,000 jobs as Iger looks to size up the legal company with a new executive structure as part of a larger plan to make $5.5 billion in cost savings. Layoffs already affect various parts of the company’s TV production and acquisition, ABC News units and other divisions.
Earl, it’s worth noting, has worked with Walden for the past few years, with a previous tenure spanning 20 television stations and the Fox network. Walden was among the key executives who a few years ago moved Disney to be part of the company’s $73 billion acquisition of Fox, which included the studio’s movie assets among other assets.