As Disney moves to reduce its workforce by roughly 7,000 employees,

Marvel Entertainment head Issac “Ike” Perlmutter has found himself among the first to face the chopping block.

Former Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter attends President Donald Trump's February 2017 address at US Central Command

Former Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter attends President Donald Trump’s February 2017 address at US Central Command

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According to a pair of anonymous Disney executives who first relayed the news to The New York Times, Perlmutter was allegedly informed of his exit via telephone on the morning of March 29th.

The reason for this staffing shake-up, said the executives, was that Disney had ultimately come to feel that the entirety of Marvel Entertainment – the division which handled the brand’s comic books publications, licensing agreements, and international toy sales – had become redundant.

Marvel ruins Ben Reilly's character for nothing more than shock value in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 5 #93 (2022), Marvel Comics. Words by Zeb Wells, art by Patrick Gleason and Bryan Valenza.

Marvel ruins Ben Reilly’s character for nothing more than shock value in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 5 #93 (2022), Marvel Comics. Words by Zeb Wells, art by Patrick Gleason and Bryan Valenza.

In light of the House of Mouse bidding farewell to Perlmutter, The New York Times’ insiders revealed that the company will supposedly be placing Marvel Entertainment’s various operations under the management of other departments, though specifics regarding any potential restructurings have yet to be provided.

Notably, Perlmutter’s forced exit comes hot on the heels of his having thrown support behind activist investor Nelson Peltz’s recent proxy battle for a seat on Disney’s board.

Spider-Woman, Porcupine, Ben Urich, and Carol Danvers on Javier Rodriguez’s cover to Spider-Woman Vol. 6 #2 (2015), Marvel Comics via digital issue

“While we acknowledge that Disney, like many media companies, is undergoing a challenging pivot to streaming, Disney also benefits from owning best-in-class intellectual property, a more diversified business mix, and a Parks business that is enjoying all-time high profitability,” wrote Peltz’s Trian Fund Management hedge fund in their letter nominating him to the board. “As such, we believe that the Company’s current problems are primarily self-inflicted and need to be addressed immediately.”

However, Peltz would ultimately lay down his sword in February when recently returned Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the company would be reviewing their content output in favor of returning the company to profitability.

Source: What If… Miles Morales Vol. 1 #4 “What if…Mile Morales became Thor?” (2022), Marvel Comics. Words by Yehudi Mercado, art by Luigi Zagaria and Chris Sotomayor.

Perlmutter’s axing also comes just three days after Iger announced that the company would be undertaking extensive cost-cutting measures to the tune of “approximately 7,000 jobs as part of a strategic realignment of the company”.

“Over the past few months, senior leaders have been working closely with HR to assess their operational needs, and I want to give you an update on those efforts,” explained Iger in a company-wide memo sent out on March 27th. “This week, we begin notifying employees whose positions are impacted by the company’s workforce reductions.”

“Leaders will be communicating the news directly to the first group of impacted employees over the next four days,” he added. “A second, larger round of notifications will happen in April with several thousand more staff reductions, and we expect to commence the final round of notifications before the beginning of the summer to reach our 7,000-job target.”

Ironheart loses control of her armor on Amy Reeder’s cover to Ironheart Vol. 1 #4 (2019), Marvel Comics.

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Perlmutter first joined Marvel as a member of its board in 1993 thanks to his ownership of Toy Biz, which had then exchanged a 46% equity stake in its business for an exclusive license to the publisher’s characters.

In the wake of Marvel’s filing for bankruptcy in 1996, Perlmutter, though his stake in Toy Biz (and along with co-owner Avi Arad), eventually received full control of the publisher.

Shortly thereafter, 1998 would see him merge the two entities into the singular Marvel Entertainment, thus saving the publisher from complete oblivion.

Ben Reilly debuts as the Scarlet Spider only to run into Venom on Tom Lyle's cover to Spider-Man Vol. 1 #52 "Deadline" (1998), Marvel Comics

Ben Reilly debuts as the Scarlet Spider only to run into Venom on Tom Lyle’s cover to Spider-Man Vol. 1 #52 “Deadline” (1998), Marvel Comics

In 2001, he would be appointed Vice Chairman of Marvel, with a subsequent promotion to CEO coming just four years later.

It would be in this role that Perlmutter would make what could quite possibly be considered his career defining move, overseeing the 2009 sale of Marvel Entertainment to The Walt Disney Company for $4 Billion.

Sam Wilson makes his debut as the Star-Spangled Avengers in Captain America Vol. 7 #25 "The Tomorrow Soldier: Conclusion" (2014), Marvel Comics. Words by Rick Remender, art by Carlos Pacheco, Stuart Immonen, Mariano Taibo, Wade Von Grawbadger, Dean White, Veronica Gandini, and Marte Gracia.

Sam Wilson makes his debut as the Star-Spangled Avengers in Captain America Vol. 7 #25 “The Tomorrow Soldier: Conclusion” (2014), Marvel Comics. Words by Rick Remender, art by Carlos Pacheco, Stuart Immonen, Mariano Taibo, Wade Von Grawbadger, Dean White, Veronica Gandini, and Marte Gracia.

And while Perlmutter once held some level of input over Marvel’s live-action endeavors, Disney pushed him out from his role as a de facto producer for the publisher’s film and television projects in 2015 and 2019, respectively (the former coming due to a reported disagreement between himself and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige over the budget to Doctor Strange, which Perlmutter felt was far too high).

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has come to make a deal in Doctor Strange (2016), Marvel Entertainment

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has come to make a deal in Doctor Strange (2016), Marvel Entertainment

In the now-former-Marvel Entertainment-head’s steed, current company president Dan Buckley will continue on in his role, though he will now only report to Feige rather than to both him and Perlmutter.

In addition to Perlmutter, Wednesday’s first salvo of layoffs also resulted in job losses for Disney’s cable television production and content acquisition divisions, as well as the complete elimination of fifty employees whose sole focus was to develop the company’s metaverse presence.

Zeb Wells triples-down on ruining Ben Reilly's character in Dark Web Finale Vol. 1 #1 "In The Bleak Midwinter" (2023), Marvel Comics. Words by Zeb Wells, art by Adam Kubert, Francesco Mortarino, Frank Martin, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna.

Zeb Wells triples-down on ruining Ben Reilly’s character in Dark Web Finale Vol. 1 #1 “In The Bleak Midwinter” (2023), Marvel Comics. Words by Zeb Wells, art by Adam Kubert, Francesco Mortarino, Frank Martin, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna.

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