Disney Folds Marvel Entertainment, Ousts Chairman Ike Perlmutter

Disney is folding Marvel Entertainment — a small, product- and comic book-centered division separate from Marvel Studios — into other Disney units as part of the continuing restructuring being revealed during its first major wave of layoffs.

Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, along with Marvel Entertainment co-president Rob Steffens and chief counsel John Turitzin, have all been dismissed. 

The division’s president, Dan Buckley, is staying on. He will report to Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige. Previously, he reported both to Feige and Perlmutter.

Marvel Entertainment, which also engaged in branded game licensing, generated about $40 billion to $60 billion in annual sales.

Perlmutter, 80 — who sold Marvel to Disney in 2009 for $4 billion, and still holds a significant share of Disney stock — last year backed a campaign by activist investor Nelson Peltz to join the Disney board.

Perlmutter reportedly was at least partly motivated by having had his control of Marvel Studios movies cut off in 2015 by then-CEO Bob Iger, who returned to that role last November.

In 2019, Perlmutter— whose determination to minimize spending extended to behavior such as retrieving paper clips from the garbage, according to the The New York Times — also lost oversight of Marvel television.

Peltz dropped the proxy fight in February, after Iger announced plans to cut costs by $5.5 billion, including laying off 7,000 employees. Iger also said that his “transformation” plan should enable Disney to return to paying a dividend, by the end of calendar year 2023.

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