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Disney Absorbs Marvel Entertainment, Dismisses Chairman Ike Perlmutter

As a series of 7,000 layoffs began this week at the Mouse House, cost-cutting has led to the ouster of Perlmutter, a major company shareholder, co-president Rob Steffens, and chief counsel John Turitzin.

Disney cost-cutting has arguably claimed its biggest name. After a series of 7,000 layoffs began this week, part of a scaling-down measure ordered by Disney CEO Bob Iger in February to reduce costs by $5.5 billion, Marvel Entertainment has now been absorbed into the company, according to Variety. The move has led to the axing of chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, Marvel Entertainment’s co-president Rob Steffens, and chief counsel John Turitzin. Division president Dan Buckley will remain to report to Marvel Studios’ head Kevin Feige.

Ironically, Perlmutter, who sold Marvel to Disney in 2009 for $4 billion and remains a major Disney stockholder, is known as one of the company’s biggest penny pinchers. The ex-chairman had control of Marvel Studios until 2015, but continued to oversee Marvel Entertainment, a division which has diminished in importance over the years to merchandise and comic book publishing.

Don’t forget Perlmutter’s recent failed effort to bring friend and activist investor Nelson Peltz onto the Disney board, a shakeup attempt that painted the 80 year old, noted the New York Times, as a distraction.

Perlmutter and Avi Arad’s Toy Biz first took control of Marvel Entertainment in the 1990s, when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. The duo was instrumental in building the company into the box office giant it is today by licensing IPs such as Spider-Man to major movie studios.

Disney has confirmed the absorption and layoffs. Perlmutter has not been reached for comment.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Journalist, antique shop owner, aspiring gemologist—Laurén brings a diverse perspective to animation, where every frame reflects her varied passions.