BREAKING: Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac ‘Ike’ Perlmutter Laid Off

Katie Francis

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Ike Perlmutter

BREAKING: Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac ‘Ike’ Perlmutter Laid Off

The latest executive to be cut in the first round of Disney layoffs is Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, according to the New York Times.

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Image source: Associated Press

“Mr. Perlmutter, 80, was told by phone on Wednesday that Marvel Entertainment, a small division centered on consumer products and run separately from Marvel Studios, was redundant and would be folded into larger Disney business units,” reports the New York Times.

Perlmutter was among those pushing for Nelson Peltz to join the board.

Nelson Peltz of Trian Group had been pushing for a spot on the Disney board, but finally dropped the fight. “Our filings indicate that both Ike and Nelson were working together to try to encourage the board or convince the board to put Nelson on the board,” Iger told CNBC. “They have a relationship that dates back quite some time. We bought Marvel in 2009. I promised Ike the job that he would continue to run Marvel after that. Not forever, necessarily. But after that.”

He also infamously almost fired Kevin Feige, but was stopped by Bob Iger.

Perlmutter, whose position was shifted to chairman in 2017, was “intent on firing Kevin Feige” in 2015, Iger said. This would have been around the same time that Feige was in talks to switch to DC because of frustrations with Perlmutter. Feige is now Chief Creative Officer at Marvel.

“I thought that was a mistake,” Iger continued in regards to Perlmutter firing Feige, “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 moviemaking operation of Marvel out from under Ike into the movie studio under Alan Horn.” Horn was chairman of Walt Disney Studios at the time.

CNBC’s David Faber asked if there was animosity left after this decision, and Iger said, “You’d have to ask Ike about that. But let’s put it this way. He was not happy about it. And I think that unhappiness exists today. And you know, what the link is between that and [Nelson Peltz], his relationship. I think that’s something that you can speculate about. I won’t.”

Perlmutter came to Disney with the purchase of Marvel in 2009.

Marvel Entertainment co-president Rob Steffens and chief counsel John Turitzin were also laid off.

The Walt Disney Company Layoffs

Under CEO Bob Iger, the company is undergoing the first of three rounds of layoffs, expecting to total around 7,000 positions eliminated. The three Marvel Entertainment leaders join Senior Vice President of Production for Hulu Mark Levenstein, , senior vice president of Production Management & Operations for Freeform Jayne Bieber, and Disney VP of Corporate Communications Jeffrey R. Epstein.

Just last week, executives at The Walt Disney Company were asked by Iger to identify thousands of potential layoff candidates in an effort to cut nearly $5.5 billion in costs. Iger is reportedly on “a push for profitability.”

The company’s restructuring comes after previous CEO Bob Chapek was fired last November. Though many changes have already been made within the company after his exit, the stock price continues to be an issue. The majority of job cuts are expected to happen after the April 3 virtual meeting with shareholders.

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