With Disney+, Zenia Mucha, the top woman on the 2020 Power List, is influencing yet another business sector with her comms savvy.
Launched in November, Disney’s streaming platform beat expectations even before everyone was stuck at home. In early February, it had more than 28 million U.S. subscribers, and as of May 4 it reached 54.5 million. Disney+ includes films from Marvel, Pixar, 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm and National Geographic.
No doubt the former Republican political adviser also orchestrated the media relations around the return of former Disney CEO Bob Iger to daily operations. The executive chairman was to take a step back after his resignation in February, but the pandemic changed everything.
A memo to staff revealed Iger would forgo a salary this year, and that Mucha agreed to a 30% cut, or $1.16 million off her base pay. The company faces its toughest test: Find the magic in its theme parks and cruise line in a post-pandemic world.
Iger will be happy to have Mucha by his side. In his memoir published last autumn, The Ride of a Lifetime, he spoke highly of her, noting on more than one occasion she had the good sense to remind him some things are better left unsaid to reporters, as expressing everything you’re thinking just makes you look petty. “'The world doesn’t need to know that, so just shut up,’” she would say.