Disney Interactive Co-President John Pleasants Out, Jimmy Pitaro Takes Over and Adds Gaming

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Disney Interactive Co-President John Pleasants Out, Jimmy Pitaro Takes Over and Adds Gaming
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Disney Interactive Co-President John Pleasants Out, Jimmy Pitaro Takes Over and Adds Gaming

Disney Interactive co-president John Pleasants is leaving his post, and co-president Jimmy Pitaro will take control of the division with the added responsibilities of its games and media groups, the Walt Disney Company announced Monday.

The two were named co-presidents together in 2010; Pitaro (above, left) had been VP of media at Yahoo!, while Pleasants (right) moved up from Disney’s Playdom unit. Their responsibilities included online, social media, mobile and other digital properties.

With the the merged unit, Disney Interactive said it will “move forward with a singular strategy for driving revenue and advertising across key platforms and franchises.” Disney said Pleasants would serve as a strategic consultant under the new arrangement.

“I am extremely proud of the work our teams have done to create leading interactive games and experiences for our guests,” said Pleasants.  “Through quality and innovation, the business is generating tangible results and momentum, and I am confident that consolidating our collective efforts at this time will lead to even greater acceleration.”

Here’s the full release from Disney:

 

DISNEY ANNOUNCES REORGANIZATION OF DISNEY INTERACTIVE DIVISION

Business Consolidated under President Jimmy Pitaro

 

BURBANK, Calif., November 11, 2013 – The Walt Disney Company today announced that the Games and Media operating groups of Disney Interactive will merge with current co-president  Jimmy Pitaro assuming responsibility for the division.  Co-President John Pleasants, who will depart his current post, will work closely with Pitaro to ensure a smooth transition and serve as a strategic consultant to the business.

“Following three years of consistent operating improvement at Disney Interactive and a great partnership between John and Jimmy, we are now in a position to fulfill our original objective to consolidate our Interactive business under one Los Angeles-based leader,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.  “With Jimmy and John’s input, we have created an Interactive organization that is best structured to meet the demands of the fast-moving technology industry.  I thank John for his many contributions to Disney Interactive, including building tentpole products like Disney Infinity and establishing the company as a leading mobile games publisher and appreciate his passion for bringing Disney experiences to Guests on new platforms.”

With the continued convergence of web and mobile entertainment platforms, Disney Interactive will move forward with a singular strategy for driving revenue and advertising across key platforms and franchises.  Disney Interactive recently announced that global sales of Disney Infinity had surpassed 1 million starter packs.   The division is also home to Club Penguin, the #1 virtual world for kids, Disney.com, the #1 kid’s entertainment site and has increased its focus on developing mobile game experiences, resulting in seven #1 and thirty three Top 25 mobile games over the past year.

“John has been critical in helping Disney Interactive build a great foundation off of which we will continue to deliver quality interactive games, mobile and web experiences that entertain and engage our Guests,” said Pitaro.  “I thank John for his partnership and look forward to working with him on the transition.”

“I am extremely proud of the work our teams have done to create leading interactive games and experiences for our guests,” said Pleasants.  “Through quality and innovation, the business is generating tangible results and momentum, and I am confident that consolidating our collective efforts at this time will lead to even greater acceleration.”

About Disney Interactive

Disney Interactive, one of the world’s largest creators of high-quality interactive entertainment across all platforms, is the part of The Walt Disney Company responsible for the global creation and delivery of interactive entertainment, multi-platform video games, and family-focused content across all current and emerging digital media platforms. Disney Interactive produces and distributes a broad portfolio of content from Disney Interactive Games and Disney Interactive Media. Products and content released and operated by Disney Interactive include blockbuster mobile, social and console games, online virtual worlds, #1 kid’s entertainment destination Disney.com and the #1 Family/Parenting portfolio on the Web.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $45 billion in its Fiscal Year 2013.

 

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