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Study Case :

Walt Disney’s & Dennis Hightower

Buku : Managing Change; Case & Concept,


Todd D. Jick, McGraw Hill, second edition,
p.366 - 378
Disney’s Organization
 Founded in 1923 by Disney brothers, Walt and
Roy, with $500 loan, and had grown by 1987
into an entertainment industry.
 In 1929, was struck its first customer products
with the merchandising Mickey Mouse pencil
tablet.
 Subsequently, the Disney Consumer Product
(DCP) divisions was established to manage
the licensing of Walt Disney name and the
company characters, song, music and visual,
literary properties.
The Disney Organization
In Europe
 DCP became involved with international
licensing. In 1934, Walt Disney
personally visited Italy to initiate a
licensing business with Italian publisher.
 By 1987, DCP had 8 wholly owned
European subsidiaries that operated in
20 different markets and together
employed 102 employee.
The European Headquarters
 Disney’s market penetration in Europe had
lagged behind from USA.
 But Disney management foresaw a great
opportunities opening in Europe during 1990’s.
 To take full advantage of emerging marketing
opportunities, it was decided that a European
headquarter to DCP would established in Paris.
Everything concerning the 8 country subsidiaries
would now be run by Paris.
 A new position was created, vice president of
DCP Europe, will be the head of the office.
 In June 1987, Dennis Hightower was appointed
to that position.
Accepting The Challenge

 Dennis Hightower, with military


background had receive the challenge to
figure out where Disney would be in
1992 and what change would entail.
 As he contemplated his newly job, he
thought wryly “ “if you don’t know where
you going, any road will take you there”
Taking Publishing Beyond Licensing

 Starting in Italy, July 1988, Hightower had


begun to move beyond pure licensing into
publishing business.
 Because as licensor, you earn regular royalty
but you are never a core business to your
licensee.
 Hightower think its time to take greater
responsibility and risk.
 Over time, Disney’s European publishing
operations became a mosaic of licensing in
the UK, Germany and others in Europe.
Integrating European Operations
 In 1988, Hightower centralized European contract
administration and auditing.
 Country managers had to focus in revenue production,
the back office will conduct by Hightower.
 He also established marketing and creative services
divisions in regional office to offer common resources
and coordinate activities of countries and licensees.
 He also enter into “mega-deals” with selected partner
companies spanning multiple countries like Matel for
toys, Nestle for food products etc.
Worldwide Operations

 After consolidating European operations


into single region in 1987, Barton K (a
worldwide head of DCP) established 3
others regions; Asia Pacific, US-Canada
and Asia Pacific.
Hightower Management Approach

 First carefully evaluates a situation to


sets a goal.
 Fairness and honest with his
subordinated
 Loyalty for subordinated
 This combination give Dennis a ability to
lead a diverse cultural groups.
 Trust to subordinates.
Reorganizing The Regional Office

 In 1992, Hightower made a several


organizational and personnel change.
 The creative division at regional office which
never run economically was split became
independent publishing division for responsible
for coordinating business with the country
publishing operations.
 Change finance and marketing head by
Internal European executives.
 Bringing the country operations closer together
for generated enormous synergies.
The Apparel Business
 The Apparel was the company’s largest
merchandise category in revenue terms,
contributing more than 30 % to retail sales of all
Disney licensed product.
 Before Hightower arrival, anybody could sell
Disney apparel by paying fee. Now Dennis
charged a regional office team by developing an
apparel strategy.
 This strategy make Europe wide sales gone up
24% since the introduction of the Pan European
policy.
 And growth retail business from $ 650 million in
1987 to $3.5 billion in 1993.