Geoff Morrell, the chief corporate affairs officer for Disney, who helped craft the embattled company’s response to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, has resigned to “pursue other opportunities” after just three months.
The one-time George W. Bush Pentagon spokesman joined Disney only three months ago to head up the company’s global communications department — which included overseeing Disney’s government relations and public policy.
But on Friday, Morrell released a statement telling the company that he was stepping away, saying, “After three months in this new role, it has become clear to me that for a number of reasons it is not the right fit,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Morrell’s announcement comes on the heels of Disney’s failed attempts to stop the state’s Parental Rights in Education law that prevents school children from pre-k to third grade from being exposed to controversial gender identity politics and age-inappropriate conversations about sexuality in class.
The company initially tried to keep its activism to stop the law in the background, but because it did not lead a loud public outcry over the bill, Disney came under pressure from internal and external activists. Eventually Disney CEO Bob Chapek apologized for not attacking the law before it was enacted or while it was being debated in the state legislature.
Morrell helped Disney CEO Bob Chapek craft a response to the Florida law, CNBC reports.
For weeks after the controversy first arose, Disney made increasingly strident proclamations against the bill. But ultimately, the legislature ignored demands to scuttle the bill made by the multi billion-dollar entertainment company and China-partner, and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law. Despite losing the battle, Chapek and Disney vowed to continue to fight to have the law repealed.
Worse for Morrell, it appears that if he was leading the effort to head off Florida’s move to cancel Disney’s special government set-asides and tax breaks, he failed miserably at that, as well.
Last week, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill dismantling Disney’s special tax jurisdiction provisions, which canceled the company’s decades-old tax breaks and carveouts that were put in place back in the mid-1960s.Ron DeSantis / Rumble
This avalanche of failures on multiple fronts caused Disney’s stock to crumble six percent more last week, only adding to the company’s 30 percent stock value free fall in the last 12 months. And by April 20, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reported that Disney is its worst performing stock for the year.
Kristina Schake will fill Morrell’s shoes going forward, according to a statement by CEO Bob Chapek.
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