Geoff Morrell was Disney’s chief corporate affairs officer. He helped to craft the company’s response against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education laws.
Three months ago, the former George W. Bush Pentagon spokesperson joined Disney to lead its global communications department. This included oversight of Disney’s public policy and government relations.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Morrell issued a statement to inform the company that he would be leaving. He stated that “after three months in the new role, it has become obvious to me that it is not the right match for a number reasons.”
Morrell’s announcement follows Disney’s failure to stop the state’s Parental Rights in Education law. This law prevents pre-k through third grade school children from being exposed to controversial Gender Identity Politics and age-inappropriate discussions about sexuality in the classroom.
Although the company tried to keep its activism in the background to stop the law, it didn’t lead to a loud public outcry. This led to pressure from both internal and external activists. The apology was accepted by Bob Chapek, the Disney CEO.
CNBC reports that Morrell assisted Disney CEO Bob Chapek in crafting a response to Florida.
After the initial controversy, Disney continued to make increasingly strident protests against the bill for weeks. The legislature refused to remove the bill from the multi-billion-dollar entertainment company and Chinese partner, and Gov. Ron DeSantis approved it. Chapek, Disney and others lost the battle but they vowed to fight to repeal the law.
Worse, Morrell appears to have failed miserably in his efforts to stop Florida’s decision to cancel Disney’s tax breaks and special government set asides.
Last week, Gov. DeSantis signed legislation to repeal Disney’s tax jurisdiction provisions. This bill canceled decades-old tax cuts and carveouts for the company that were in place in the 1960s.
The stock fell six percent last week due to multiple failures, resulting in a 30 percent decline in stock value. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reported that Disney was its worst-performing stock for the year by April 20.