Isaac Perlmutter, the famously reclusive (and rarely photographed) chairman of Marvel Entertainment, has been been laid off by Disney. The New York Times was the first to report the news, which indicates that Marvel Entertainment is being “folded into larger Disney business units” as a cost-cutting measure. That’s ironic because Perlmutter was notorious about cutting costs throughout his nearly three decades with Marvel.
Marvel Studios, the company that produces Marvel films and TV series, was not a part of the restructuring. That’s because Marvel Studios has been separate from Marvel Entertainment since 2015 when Disney CEO Bob Iger sided with Kevin Feige over Perlmutter. After years under Perlmutter’s control, Iger essentially gave Feige the freedom to run the studio as he saw fit and allowed him to report directly to former Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn. That appears to be the primary source of the animosity between Perlmutter and Iger that continues to this day.
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Perlmutter and Avi Arad, the co-owners of Toy Biz, played a pivotal role in rescuing Marvel from bankruptcy in the mid-’90s. They assumed control of the company in 1997 by merging it with Toy Biz, and Perlmutter rose to the rank of Marvel CEO in 2005. In 2009, Marvel was sold to Disney for $4 billion in a deal that made Perlmutter one of the largest Disney shareholders. He was also allowed to maintain his role as chairman of Marvel.
While Perlmutter will no longer have a day-to-day role at Marvel, his Disney shares still give him a lot of power within the company. As noted by The New York Times report, Perlmutter recently backed activist investor Nelson Peltz’s bid to join the Disney board, in what was rumored to be part of his ongoing feud with Iger. Peltz ultimately ended that campaign, which raised rumors about Perlmutter’s future with Disney.
As part of the corporate restructuring, Marvel Entertainment President Dan Buckley will now report solely to Feige.
What do you think about the exit of Isaac Perlmutter from Marvel? Let us know in the comment section below.
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