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Disney CEO Bob Iger calls the drive to make streaming profitable a priority

Walt Disney Co DIS Chief Executive Bob Iger said on Monday one of his top priorities is to make the company's streaming business profitable.

Iger is responsible for Disney's all-in embrace of streaming, and the launch of its marquee service, Disney+, but he acknowledged the measurement of success has changed. Wall Street investors now focus on profitability, not merely subscriber gains.

"Instead of chasing (subscribers) with aggressive marketing and aggressive spend on content, we have to start chasing profitability," Iger told a town-hall meeting on the company's Burbank, California, lot, according to a transcript of remarks seen by Reuters.

"In order to achieve that, we have to take a very, very hard look at our cost structure across our businesses."

"Filled with gratitude and excitement to be back @WaltDisneyCo!," Iger tweeted on Monday with a picture of the company's headquarters.

"The status quo is gone. A lot has changed. But the sun is still shining," Iger said.

His predecessor, Chapek, had a rocky tenure at Disney's helm. The board credited him with navigating the company through the worst of the pandemic, which closed its theme parks and shuttered productions.

Iger said he planned to keep a hiring freeze, which Chapek instituted, in place, while he assesses Disney's cost structure. He offered no timing on the restructuring of the company's film and television distribution group, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. CNBC was the first to report details, which Reuters independently confirmed.

Iger left the stage to a standing ovation, according to one person who attended the session.

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