LOS ANGELES: Zenia Mucha, the top communications executive at The Walt Disney Company for almost 20 years, is planning to step down next year.
The media and entertainment giant has not named a successor. Mucha confirmed she will work with CEO Bob Chapek to find her successor.
Mucha told colleagues of her decision in an internal memo, which was obtained by PRWeek, “After a long career in roles that have required a 24/7 commitment, what I want most these days is the freedom to focus on other priorities — all the things I always wanted to do with family and friends but simply never had time for.”
Mucha is not planning to renew her contract, which paid $4.9 million in total 2020 compensation, according to The New York Times.
Her exit coincides with that of former CEO Robert Iger, who transitioned to executive chairman in February 2020. He is planning to remain in that role through the rest of this year. Chapek succeeded Iger as CEO.
In her memo, which PRWeek obtained from sources close to the story, Mucha thanked Iger stating, “Few are more acutely aware of the difference that smart communications strategy and a talented comms team can make, or more appreciative of our contributions to the organization’s success.”
During her tenure at Disney, Mucha has been selected to PRWeek’s Power List on many occasions, including its most recent iteration, which was published on Tuesday morning. This year, PRWeek commended her for helping Disney communicate about the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including park closures, as well as its success with streaming services including Disney+.
Mucha came to Disney ABC Television Group in February 2001 as SVP of communications. She started as SVP of corporate comms at the Walt Disney Company in May 2002 and rose to her current position of senior EVP and chief communications officer in September 2005.
In its fiscal Q2, which ended on April 3, Disney’s revenue was down 13% to $15.6 billion, as its total segment operating income increased 2% to $2.5 billion.
This story was updated on July 14.