Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn and his top lieutenant, Alan Bergman, sent a note early Thursday morning to all their new employees working across the 20th Century Fox film empire.
"Although there is much to look forward to, we know this integration will entail quite a bit of change across our organizations. We want to acknowledge that and assure you we are committed to engaging in this process thoughtfully and communicating changes as we are able — most importantly with respect for all involved," wrote Horn and Bergman, who is president of Disney Studios.
The memo came a day after Disney's historic acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox closed, giving Horn purview over the film labels that make up 20th Century Fox.
More than 3,000 people work at the Fox film studio, and widespread layoffs are expected.
On Wednesday, Horn and Bergman traveled to the Fox lot in Century City to meet with 20th Century Fox film vice chairman Emma Watts, Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler and Fox Searchlight co-chairmen Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, all of whom have joined Disney.
Disney Studios will now begin the complicated task of taking over the Fox film slate, which has 10 titles set for release this year. (Don't be surprised if some titles move.)
Read Horn and Bergman's memo in full below.
With the announcement that the Disney-Fox deal is officially complete, we begin an exciting new chapter in the history of both our companies and the industry. This is a major piece of the bold strategy Bob Iger has set for The Walt Disney Company as our business rapidly evolves.
It's astounding and humbling to consider the rich, dynamic legacies of these storied studios and the endless possibilities ahead as we unite them. It's not something we take for granted as leaders, and we are looking forward to working together to build a team of unparalleled creativity and innovation.
We've learned a lot in meetings held prior to deal close, yet there are many things that could not be discussed for regulatory reasons. We are happy to now have the chance to really understand and share how we operate at the ground level — and we realize we are only at the beginning of the process.
Although there is much to look forward to, we know this integration will entail quite a bit of change across our organizations. We want to acknowledge that and assure you we are committed to engaging in this process thoughtfully and communicating changes as we are able — most importantly with respect for all involved.
We'll be making announcements very soon about our senior leadership structure. It will take some time to reach our future fully integrated state. Day-to-day, our top priorities remain the same: to support the great content we're creating and deliver a superb experience to our consumers, and to continue to build an inspiring, inclusive environment where employees can bring their best to work every day.
As we start this journey of bringing together the combined might of Disney and 21st Century Fox to create the best entertainment studio, we'd like to thank you all for everything you've done to bring us to this point and for your continued focus, support and patience as we proceed.
Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios
President, The Walt Disney Studios