Disney ousts Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter amid cuts


Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac ‘Ike’ Perlmutter has been laid off as part of Disney’s efforts to cut 7,000 staff members, with the division he led folded into the company.

Perlmutter oversaw Marvel Entertainment, which is separate from TV and film division Marvel Studios, and instead focused on consumer products, game licensing and arena shows.

Co-president Rob Steffens and chief counsel John Turitzin were also let go by Disney, while Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment will remain and now report solely to Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige.

Perlmutter has been an important but divisive figure at Disney since he led the $4bn sale of comic book publisher Marvel to the Mouse House in 2009, becoming one of its largest shareholders in the process.

While he played a major role in shaping early Marvel cinematic projects, Perlmutter has not been involved with the movie franchise since 2015 following a conflict with Feige over the production of Doctor Strange.

Perlmutter sought to fire Feige at the time, but was blocked by Disney head Bob Iger, who handed oversight of Marvel movies to the studio under Alan Horn, while Feige went on to become the architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Perlmutter was further distanced from Marvel’s screen output in 2019 when he lost oversight of Marvel Television, which was behind non Disney+ Marvel shows, such as Netflix’s Daredevil and ABC’s Agents Of SHIELD, and his remit has since chiefly involved consumer products and comic book publishing.

His exit also comes two months after throwing his support behind Nelson Peltz, the activist investor who sought to join the Disney board through a proxy contest, but dropped the battle in February after Iger announced that the company would make 7,000 job cuts and slash $3bn from content spend.

Those staff cuts began earlier this week, with Hulu’s SVP of production, Mark Levenstein, Freeform’s SVP of production management & operations, Jayne Bieber, and Elizabeth Newman, VP of development, and head of the now shuttered creative acquisitions department, among those to be let go from the company.

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