Disney Lays Off Marvel Chairman Isaac Perlmutter After 30 Years with the Company

Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment, has been laid off by The Walt Disney Company after 30 years with the company. Since selling Marvel to the Mouse House for a whopping $4 billion in 2009, Perlmutter has been an integral part of Disney.[0] During the initial stages of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kevin Feige was supervised by Perlmutter. After several conflicts between the executives, the company underwent a restructuring, resulting in Feige and Marvel Studios reporting directly to Disney’s film division, rather than to Perlmutter.[0] As part of their cost-cutting campaign, Disney has laid off Perlmutter, along with Rob Steffens and John Turitzin, co-president and chief counsel of Marvel Entertainment respectively. Disney has decided to fold Marvel Entertainment into larger business units, making it a redundant division.[1] Perlmutter’s continued presence at Disney was seen as impossible in the light of his failed attempt to shake up Disney’s board by backing his longtime friend Nelson Peltz in a proxy fight.

Perlmutter’s legacy as a Marvel chairman has been complicated.[2] He joined Marvel Comics’ board of directors in 1993 and established control of the Marvel Group with Avi Arad in 1997 after it faced bankruptcy.[3] In 2001, Perlmutter became vice chairman of Marvel, and he became CEO of Marvel Comics in 2005.[3] He oversaw the company’s sale to The Walt Disney Company in 2009.[4] However, that marked the beginning of his professional troubles.[4] He repeatedly clashed with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, leading to Feige’s gaining control of Marvel Studios and Perlmutter’s loss of oversight of Marvel Cinematic Universe films in 2015 and the company’s television pursuits in 2019.

Perlmutter’s recent attempt to install activist investor Nelson Peltz on the Disney board failed, leading to Peltz starting a proxy fight with Disney. However, Peltz ultimately dropped the fight after Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a vast restructuring designed to cut billions in costs. This week, Iger began cutting 7,000 jobs, about 4% of Disney’s workforce, as part of a “strategic realignment for the company.”[5] The layoffs will help cut down on the $5.5 billion needed to improve the company’s financial numbers.[6]

Perlmutter’s continued presence at Disney was seen as impossible in the light of his failed attempt to shake up Disney’s board by backing his longtime friend Nelson Peltz in a proxy fight. Perlmutter, despite being a prominent figure, has had minimal involvement in the Marvel Studios movies since 2015. This is because he reportedly had a disagreement with Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, regarding the production of Doctor Strange.

0. “Disney Lays Off Controversial Marvel Exec After 30 Years With The Company” Screen Rant, 29 Mar. 2023, https://screenrant.com/disney-marvel-ike-perlmutter-exit/

1. “Disney Axes Marvel Entertainment Head After Failed Takeover” Forbes, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianbushard/2023/03/29/disney-axes-marvel-entertainment-head-after-failed-takeover/

2. “Disney Fires Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter” CBR – Comic Book Resources, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.cbr.com/disney-fires-marvel-chairman-ike-perlmutter

3. “Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter Out at Disney” TheWrap, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.thewrap.com/marvel-entertainment-chairman-ike-perlmutter-out-at-disney/

4. “Disney Fires Ike Perlmutter, Marvel Chairman And Longtime Foe Of Kevin Feige” /Film, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.slashfilm.com/1242617/disney-fires-ike-perlmutter-marvel-chairman-and-longtime-foe-of-kevin-feige/

5. “Disney Lays Off Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter Amid Major Shakeup” IGN, 29 Mar. 2023, https://www.ign.com/articles/disney-lays-off-marvel-entertainment-chairman-ike-perlmutter-amid-major-shakeup

6. “Disney Lays Off Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter” ComicBook.com, 29 Mar. 2023, https://comicbook.com/comics/news/disney-lays-off-marvel-entertainment-chairman-isaac-perlmutter