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Reese’s $900 Million Deal Secret

Tom Staggs at Sun Valley
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
August 5, 2021

The “business career” section of Kevin Mayer’s Wikipedia page is quite a ride. Not the first part, which details three decades of standard media executive jobs, culminating with running Disney’s streaming assets through the launch of Disney+. The head-spinning stuff starts in May 2020, when Mayer abruptly left Disney after being passed over for C.E.O: In just 18 months, Mayer has taken the top job at TikTok, bailed four months later after President Trump forced its Chinese owner to sell (that never happened); launched a SPAC with his fellow Disney alum Tom Staggs and a hodgepodge of figures including Shaquille O’Neill; merged that SPAC with a fitness app called Beachbody; launched another SPAC with Staggs; was in talks for a senior role at Redbird Capital; tried and failed to buy part of Scooter Braun’s company; joined Russia-made billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries as a senior advisor; became chair of Blavatnik’s sports streaming company DAZN; and, oh yeah, this week he convinced Blackstone, the private equity firm, to buy Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine company in a deal valued at $900 million.

Whew. And you thought you got restless during the pandemic.