Fielding oversaw licensing, product development and new business opportunities in the consumer retail space across both businesses and FX Networks.
Consumer products at Disney long has been a colossus in the studio world, in large part because of the company’s consistently revenue-generating theme parks. A year ago, as it began preparing for the Fox influx and also the launch of the long-awaited Disney+ streaming service, Disney reorganized several business units. In that reorg, Bob Chapek added responsibility for consumer products while continuing to run the valuable Parks & Resorts division.
Fielding had a stint at Disney, where he served as President of Disney Stores Worldwide, leading a $1.2 billion global business that operated 360 stores in 12 countries, as well as the DisneyStore.com e-commerce business. The 25-year veteran of the consumer retail business also served as the CEO of Claire’s Stores, where he oversaw strategic growth and international development for the retail chain’s 3,000-plus stores worldwide.
A recent venture funding deal listed Fielding as an investor. Inked Brands, an e-commerce company that helps social media influencers convert their followers to customers, completed a fundraising round. Backers included Fielding and New York-based production and financing outfit Archer Gray, whose recent credits include multiple Oscar nominee Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Fielding is among the predicted thousands of exits expected as Disney begins to absorb Fox’s studio and networks businesses. Most of the heaviest losses of high-level executives are apt to be in areas such as marketing and distribution, though others — including Fielding, home entertainment chief Mike Dunn and Twentieth Television’s Greg Meidel, also have been let go.
Analysts have predicted that several thousand layoffs will result from the transaction, which formally closed early Wednesday. Disney hasn’t specified any numbers, saying only that it expects $2 billion in cost savings by 2021 as a result of the combination.