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Operational Planning of The Walt Disney Company

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The Walt Disney Company is a leader in family entertainment, spanning the globe with its many subsidiaries in dozens of countries. Founded in 1923 by Walter and Roy Disney, the company was known then as The Disney Brothers Studio. Over the years, the name changed, additional companies were added, and the vision statement grew to focus on three fundamental pillars: “generating the best creative content possible; fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology; and expanding into new markets around the world” (The Walt Disney Company, 2014).

Disney has many strengths, one weakness, many opportunities for growth, and a few threats that create a challenge for this global leader. This paper will discuss these items as they relate to the operational and strategic goals of the company.

Disney’s strengths include having a significant customer base for its cable channels, having many diversified entertainment businesses, and having increased profits in the past decade (The Walt Disney Company, 2012).

The biggest weakness that Disney has identified is that 75% of their revenue in 2011 was generated from customers in the U.S. and Canada. This is an opportunity for expansion of their operations to bring Disney entertainment to other parts of the world (The Walt Disney Company, 2012).

The opportunities that Disney can develop include expanding their presence in emerging economies including Russia, China, Asia Pacific and India. Additionally, the distribution agreement they signed in 2012 with Comcast will allow them to expand their presence in the cable television market. This includes their cable network channels such as the Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ABC, ABC Family, and 12 unique ESPN channels (The Walt Disney Company, 2012).

The threats that Disney must focus on is their steep competition, increased piracy that has impacted their revenue, and the highly regulated TV broadcast industry in the U.S. (The Walt Disney Company, 2012).

The main goal that Disney has is their “continuing commitment to be among the most admired companies in the world – recognition of both the integrity of our people and the quality of our entertainment experiences. This guides our actions as a company and our efforts to promote the happiness and well-being of kids and families by inspiring them to join us in creating a brighter tomorrow.” (The Walt Disney Company, 2014).

This main goal can be achieved in a strategic manner through its constant and long term dedication to conserving the planet and the resources that are used in all Disney operations. The company has dozens of projects to reduce its carbon footprint on the world’s natural resources, from tree-planting initiatives and reducing electricity consumption to an initiative whose goal is to send zero waste product to landfills (The Walt Disney Company, 2014)..

Disney’s main goal is being achieved in an operational manner by one of their subsidiaries in the film industry known as Lucasfilm. In staying with Disney’s ongoing commitment to “creating a brighter tomorrow for kids and families, the Star Wars: Force for Change was developed in 2014 with a goal of finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems” (The Walt Disney Company, 2014).

“Disney has committed $1 million to support Star Wars: Force for Change, and will raise funds for the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) projects. Support raised will help UNICEF fund innovative nutrition, water, health and education programs that benefit the world’s most vulnerable children” (The Walt Disney Company, 2014).

The effect that these goals will have on the company’s stakeholders is both positive and negative. Employees, contractors, and customers will have the benefit of having a positive impact on the environment as they are invited to join Disney in the environmental and charitable projects. The shareholders will also benefit from increased profitability as the company’s public image is improved.

Factories, supplies, distributors, and retailers will all be negatively impacted by Disney’s goals as they must also reduce their carbon footprint upon the planet through indirect pressure applied by Disney. It is necessary for these stakeholders to also become responsible stewards of the world’s resources as well as leaders in charitable giving if they want to continue doing business with Disney.


The Walt Disney Company SWOT Analysis. (2012). Walt Disney Company SWOT

Analysis, 1-10.

The Walt Disney Company. (2014). Company overview. Retrieved from


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