A Disney spokesperson has confirmed to Deadline that Ike Perlmutter is out at the company. Note, Permutter oversaw the consumer products division of Marvel, and isn’t part of the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Studios.
Perlmutter’s departure comes amid Disney cutting 7K jobs in a massive overhaul of its employee corps that’s part of $5.5 billion cost-cutting manuever to position the Mouse House even more for the streaming obsessed entertainment era. Permutter’s Marvel Entertainment will be folded into other parts of the Disney corporate umbrella. Perlmutter’s oversight included comic book publishing (which reportedly earns $40M-$60M annually), as well as game licensing and arena shows.
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Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment, will stay in place and report to Feige, president of Marvel Studios. Buckley previously reported to Feige and Perlmutter.
Perlmutter sold Marvel to Disney in 2009 for $4B, having previously steered the company during the 1990s, capitalizing on the comic book label’s superhero merchandising business.
But he hasn’t been an integral part of the feature film side since he warred with Feige over Doctor Strange‘s production. Perlmutter wanted to fire Feige. Disney Boss Bob Iger said in a TV interview last month he couldn’t let that happen.
The returned Disney CEO told CNBC in Feb. that he’d initially promised Perlmutter he could continue to run Marvel after the acquisition, “but not forever, necessarily.” And in 2015, “he was intent on firing Kevin Feige…and I thought that was a mistake and stepped in to prevent that from happening. I think Kevin is an incredibly, incredibly talented executive that you know, the Marvel track record speaks for itself. And so I moved the movie-making operation of Marvel out from under Ike into the movie studio under Alan Horn” (with Feige reporting directly to Horn, who retired from the company in 2021).
No love was lost between Perlmutter and Iger. “Let’s put it this way. He was not happy about it,” Iger said.
Perlmutter, known for being thrifty and unafraid to speak truth to power, hasn’t steered Marvel TV shows since 2019. And he recently emerged as a key ally of Nelson Peltz, lobbying Disney directors and senior executives to meet with the activist investor, who was seeking a board seat. When Disney declined, Peltz set the table for a major proxy battle and launched an all-out PR campaign challenging the company’s performance and strategy. Peltz backed down abruptly in February when Iger unveiled a restructuring plan in conjunction Disney’s latest earnings. The annual meeting of shareholders is set for next week
The New York Times first broke the news about Perlmutter.
Other executives laid off include Rob Steffens, co-president of Marvel Entertainment, and John Turitzin, chief counsel for the label.
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