Heather Hust Rivera, the senior vice president of communications at Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED), is exiting the company after nearly two decades, Variety has learned exclusively.
“I’m grateful for the incredible opportunities I have had in the past 17 years at Disney, working across multiple businesses with some of the industry’s hardest working, most talented, and amazingly creative people,” Hust Rivera said in a statement to Variety. “I wish the team nothing but the best, and look forward to what the next chapter holds.”
Hust Rivera’s exit is not altogether surprising, as she served as a chief communications representative of Kareem Daniel, who stepped down as the chairman of DMED in late November.
The moves come as returning CEO Bob Iger looks to restructure the company following the sudden ouster of Bob Chapek after three years. Chapek had himself reorganized Disney with the creation of DMED, with the aim being to focus the company more toward its streaming business. Iger made it clear that more changes would be coming to DMED in a memo to staff in which he announced Daniels’ resignation, with many industry insiders speculating the group will eliminated altogether.
Daniel and Hust Rivera are the third high-ranking executives to leave Disney following Chapek’s departure, with the other being Chapek lieutenant Arthur Bochner.
Hust Rivera was named to her role at DMED in March 2021. She oversaw global communications for all of DMED, which included Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Star+ as well as linear television channels including ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic. Her purview also included comms for ABC owned-stations, advertising sales, Disney Music Group, content licensing and distribution, and theatrical film distribution.
She first joined Disney in various publicity roles for the parks and resorts department before moving on to lead all of Disney’s video, web, and social media teams for corporate functions. She also worked for Disney’s consumer products, games and publishing division as the vice president of communications and public relations. Before she worked at Disney, she worked at the United States Mission to the United Nations.
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