Ricky Strauss, who, as content programming and curation president, managed content at the fast-growing streamer Disney +, is leaving after nine years.
The move, announced today by Strauss and Disney International and Direct Sales Chairperson Rebecca Campbell, in internal employee communications, comes months after a major reorganization at House of Mouse, with streaming positioned at the heart of the company and Disney vet Kareem Daniel increasing became head of media and entertainment.
The decision to leave, Strauss said, was a direct result of that restructuring.
“After nine years with The Walt Disney Company and much thought over the past few months, I have decided that it is time for me to pursue new creative endeavors,” he wrote. “It has taken a lot of thought and thought, but with our new structure and the changes in my role, restructuring does not allow me to do the kind of work I enjoy doing and continue to have the intended impact that I am got lucky to have achieved at Disney. ”
Joe Earley, director of marketing and operations at Disney + – and one of Adweek’s 2020 brand geniuses – will take on the content curation role at the streamer and report to Disney + President Michael Paull, Campbell said. Brian Henderson, who oversees content curation for Hulu, will now report on the changes to Hulu President Kelly Campbell.
Strauss’ departure comes after Disney hit streaming success surprisingly early on. Disney + unlocked 86 million subscribers last month and announced plans to increase its prices and more aggressively enter the international market with a general entertainment offering under the company’s Star brand in a presentation to investors in December.
It also invests heavily in content: Disney + announced that it will release 10 Star Wars series, 10 Marvel series, and dozens more projects from various other corporate divisions over the next few years.
Strauss has spent three decades in the entertainment industry and was instrumental in launching Disney + as President of Content and Marketing for the Streamer prior to its debut and during its early months. Prior to that, he was Marketing Director at Walt Disney Studios, where he led the global marketing strategy for blockbusters such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Guardians of the Galaxy, Maleficent, Frozen and Moana. Before joining Disney in 2012, he spent nearly a decade at Participant Media.