Morrell, head of Communications and Advocacy at the global energy company bp, will oversee Disney’s Corporate Communications, Global Public Policy, Government Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, Social and Governance teams
The Walt Disney Company has named Geoff Morrell to the newly created position of Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, with oversight of the entertainment company’s Corporate Communications, Global Public Policy, Government Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) teams, it was announced today by Bob Chapek, Disney’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Morrell, who most recently has served as Executive Vice President, Communications and Advocacy at the global energy company bp, and was formerly Pentagon Press Secretary and a White House correspondent for ABC News, will assume his new role on January 24, 2022 and report directly to Mr. Chapek.
“In this unique time of industry disruption and social change, it is more important than ever that our consumers, communities, employees, and shareholders understand who we are and what we stand for,” Mr. Chapek said. “At the same time, the spheres of communications, corporate governance, social responsibility, government relations and public policy are increasingly interconnected and require a focused, coordinated approach. Geoff is a seasoned, insightful and accomplished public affairs officer, and I am delighted to appoint him to this new role, where he will build on Disney’s already strong reputation.”
“This is a homecoming of sorts. After four years in government and 10 years with bp, I am thrilled to be coming back to the company where I began my career,” said Mr. Morrell, who will also hold the title of Senior Executive Vice President. “I started off as a journalist, but return to take on an exciting new role. I look forward to helping Bob Chapek and his talented team engage with our stakeholders around the world. Given the tremendous change underway in the industry and Bob’s ambitious plans for Disney, it is imperative that we proactively share the story of Disney’s evolution. Few companies are as beloved as Disney, and I am committed to doing everything I can to make sure it remains that way.”
Under the new leadership structure, Disney’s head of Corporate Social Responsibility will report to both Mr. Morrell and Mr. Chapek. A new head of Corporate Communications will be named following Mr. Morrell’s arrival. As previously announced last July, Zenia Mucha, Disney’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, and Alan Braverman, Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, will be retiring from the Company shortly after year-end following nearly two decades in their respective roles.
Mr. Morrell assumed his latest role at bp in 2020, overseeing the company’s global communications, government relations and advocacy, and prior to that he was bp’s Group Head of Communications & External Affairs from 2017. Mr. Morrell joined bp in 2011 as Vice President, U.S. Communications and in 2013 became Senior Vice President, U.S. Communications & External Affairs.
From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Morrell served as Pentagon Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, serving as the chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the U.S. military. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and continued to serve under President Barack Obama, and for his service to both administrations he was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the highest honor the Department of Defense can give to a political appointee.
Before entering public service, Mr. Morrell was a White House correspondent for ABC News from 2004 to 2007; he first joined the network in 2000. Mr. Morrell began his reporting career in 1992 at KATV-TV in Little Rock, Ark., covering the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. He later served as a reporter at WSET-TV in Lynchburg, Va. from 1994 to 1995, at KSAZ-TV in Phoenix from 1995 to 1996, and at WBBM-TV in Chicago from 1996 to 2000.
Mr. Morrell holds a Master’s Degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University.