Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Vice President of Communications for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED), is leaving the company after nearly two decades. Variety has exclusively learned.
“I am grateful for the incredible opportunities I have had over the past 17 years at Disney, working across multiple businesses with some of the hardest-working, most talented and amazingly creative people in the industry,” 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 departure is not entirely surprising, as he served as the senior communications representative for Kareem Daniel, who resigned as DMED president at the end of November.
The moves come as returning CEO Bob Iger looks to restructure the company following the sudden departure of Bob Chapek after three years. Chapek himself had reorganized Disney with the creation of DMED, with the goal of focusing the company more on its broadcast business. Iger made it clear that more changes to DMED were to come in a memo to staff in which he announced Daniels’ resignation, and many industry insiders speculated that the group would be eliminated altogether.
Daniel and Hust Rivera are the third high-ranking executives to leave Disney following Chapek’s departure, the other being Chapek’s lieutenant, Arthur Bochner.
Hust Rivera was appointed to her position at DMED in March 2021. She oversaw global communications for all of DMED, which included Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Star+, as well as linear TV channels such as ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic. Her scope also included communications for ABC-owned stations, advertising sales, Disney Music Group, content licensing and distribution, and motion picture distribution.
She first joined Disney in various advertising 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 publishing, gaming and consumer products division as vice president of communications and public relations. Before working at Disney, she worked at the US Mission to the United Nations.