Apr 29, 2022 - Economy

Disney exec steps down after 3 months on the job

Geoff Morrell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Geoff Morrell, who in December was named Disney’s first chief corporate affairs officer, on Friday told his team he's resigning because the job is "not the right fit."

Driving the news: Disney and CEO Bob Chapek are embroiled in a firestorm over Disney's opposition to a new Florida law barring instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for K–3rd graders.

  • "After talking this over with Bob," Morrell wrote, "I have decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. I wish him, each of you and everyone at Disney the very best."

Catch up quick: Morrell's exit comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill to dissolve Disney's self-governing status.

  • Disney, facing pressure from employees and fans, sparked Republicans' ire after coming out in opposition to DeSantis' law, which bars classroom instruction on certain topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity for students in early grade school.
  • The measure targeting Disney eliminates the special status of Reedy Creek, which was created in 1967 to allow Disney to carry out municipal functions of its own.
  • It's expected to have huge tax implications for Disney and will likely take effect in June 2023.

Yes, but: The company has since posted a statement reminding investors of an obscure provision in the 1967 law that bars the state from doing what it did.

  • The statement refers to the state's "pledge" to "not limit or alter the rights of the District … until all such bonds together with interest … are fully met and discharged."
  • Chapek has pledged to pause all of Disney's political donations in Florida and increase its support for advocacy groups "to combat similar legislation in other states."

Go deeper: Disney's political drama

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper