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Disney Absorbs Marvel Entertainment, Lays Off Chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter

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The highest designations of Disney’s organization have been affected by its cost-cutting initiatives. The Marvel Entertainment chairman, Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, lost his job as a result of the division’s absorption into other Disney businesses. Marvel Entertainment is a distinct entity from Marvel Studios.

Rob Steffens, Marvel Entertainment’s co-president, and John Turitzin, its top counsel, were also fired in addition to Perlmutter. The division’s head, Dan Buckley, will continue to work for Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

The 80-year-old Perlmutter was at the center of activist investor Nelson Peltz’s protracted battle to join the Disney board. Perlmutter still holds a sizable amount of Disney shares. 

As a result of CEO Bob Iger’s decision to end Perlmutter’s authority over Marvel Studios in 2015, which ultimately reduced Marvel Entertainment to little more than consumer goods and comic book publishing, Perlmutter decided to support Peltz.

After Iger disclosed his plan to cut costs by $5.5 billion, which included reducing the workforce by 7,000 employees, and the anticipated return of the dividend payment for shareholders by the end of 2023, Peltz terminated his proxy fight.

Ironic given Perlmutter’s notorious reputation for pinching pennies, from hosting Marvel Studios press junkets in Disney’s offices to requiring staff to repurpose office supplies, is the executive’s decision to be fired as part of Disney’s cost-cutting measure.

In 2009, Perlmutter sold Marvel to Disney for $4 billion; since then, the business has more than made up for that cost thanks to Marvel Studios’ dominance of the box office in the 2010s. When Marvel Entertainment was folded into Toy Biz, the toy business co-run by Perlmutter and Avi Arad, and the comic book publisher was on the verge of bankruptcy in the 1990s, when he first assumed control of it.

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