Disney Folds Publishing into New Interactive Media Division

Disney Publishing Worldwide children's books interactive digital mediaThe Walt Disney Company combines the division that houses its children’s publishing business with its interactive media division, in a move the company frames as a reaction to “changing consumer preferences” in a tech-driven market.

Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media will be overseen jointly by the heads of the two categories it brings together—Leslie Ferraro, of the Consumer Products division, and Jimmy Pitaro, of Disney Interactive.

In addition, Disney is forming a new team focused on developing mobile-native and immersive digital products, called DCPI Labs.

“The new structure is designed to share technological expertise and maximize opportunities and efficiencies across two divisions that have increasingly become focused on similar objectives of delivering cutting-edge, interactive consumer experiences and products,” Disney says in a press release announcing the reorganization. “In addition, the change will more effectively leverage Disney’s extensive licensing structure and retail relationships across both segments.”

[Press Release]

NEW DISNEY SEGMENT TO COMBINE CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND INTERACTIVE DIVISIONS

BURBANK, Calif., June 29, 2015 – In response to changing consumer preferences in a marketplace increasingly influenced by technology, The Walt Disney Company today announced a realignment of two of its divisions, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive. The new combined segment, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), will be run jointly by Leslie Ferraro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and President, Disney Consumer Products; and Jimmy Pitaro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and President, Disney Interactive.

“Both Disney Interactive and Disney Consumer Products have a strong track record of connecting people to their favorite stories and characters,” said Tom Staggs, Chief Operating Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “As technology and digital entertainment continue to evolve, a shared innovation strategy will enable this new segment to create unique and engaging products and experiences that exceed consumers’ expectations.”

The new structure is designed to share technological expertise and maximize opportunities and efficiencies across two divisions that have increasingly become focused on similar objectives of delivering cutting-edge, interactive consumer experiences and products. In addition, the change will more effectively leverage Disney’s extensive licensing structure and retail relationships across both segments.

“The timing of this announcement could not be better, with both divisions seeing great success in the marketplace with technology-driven initiatives alongside our more traditional lines of business,” said Leslie Ferraro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and President, Disney Consumer Products.

“We are looking forward to leveraging Disney Interactive’s digital, technological and mobile expertise to explore the unlimited possibilities that this partnership represents,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and President, Disney Interactive.

A new team called DCPI Labs will focus on using cutting edge technologies to create new immersive products. DCPI Labs will report directly to Ms. Ferraro and Mr. Pitaro.

Disney Publishing Worldwide, a leading publisher of children’s books that has increasingly blended technology with storytelling to create interactive story-based digital experiences, will also report jointly to Ms. Ferraro and Mr. Pitaro.

Functional areas—including Finance, Strategy and Business Development, Technology, Human Resources and Communications—will be combined into joint teams reporting to both Mr. Pitaro and Ms. Ferraro.

The traditional consumer products portfolio—product development, licensing, retail relationship management, and more—will continue under Ms. Ferraro’s leadership. Mr. Pitaro will continue to manage social and mobile games, Asia games, online media and sales, and Disney Infinity.

As a result of the new structure, Disney plans to report the combined businesses as one segment for financial reporting purposes as of the beginning of fiscal 2016.

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