During his three-year tenure at Disney, most recently as chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, Peter Rice had a tradition of sending off his staff for the weekend with “weekend read” memos highlighting show premieres and major milestones for the divisions under his purview and congratulating people on their accomplishments.
On Thursday afternoon, 24 hours after his shocking dismissal by Disney CEO Bob Chapek and 24 before he would’ve normally sent it, Rice emailed out one final edition of his “weekend read.”
In the memo (read it in full below), Rice kept the usual congratulatory tone by highlighting the achievements of his teams during his tenures both at Disney and 21st Century Fox before that. (The British-born executive also paid homage to his adopted country by using the American vs. British spelling of “honor.”)
There was also sadness and a parting message to stay the course. Here is the note:
I am incredibly sad that this will be the last “weekend read” that I will be sending you. It has been such a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside each of you here at Disney and many of you at 21st Century Fox.
I am so proud of the work we have done together, the friendships we have forged and the consistent success we have celebrated. We have the honor of working in the world’s greatest and most creative industry at a time of enormous change. In the midst of this, together we have created amazing and award-winning television shows and I am eternally grateful for your kindness and generosity on the journey.
As I depart Disney, may I leave you with a last thought: remain committed to excellence and always recognize that our stories are dependent upon the imagination and artistry of the writers, directors, producers, actors, and craftsman that we have engaged to call Disney home. It has been so much fun to collaborate with them to bring their ideas to life.
So, while I will no longer be riding along beside you, I wish you happy trails and hope that our paths will cross again.
Warmly and with gratitude,