Disney Combines Consumer Products, Digital Entertainment Divisions

Sharing digital expertise in pursuit of “immersive” products
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The Walt Disney Company has merged its consumer products and Disney Interactive divisions, which have been increasingly pursuing similar digital objectives, the entertainment conglomerate said.

Burbank, Calif. — The Walt Disney Company has merged its consumer products and Disney Interactive divisions, which have been increasingly pursuing similar digital objectives, the entertainment conglomerate said.

The new unit, Disney consumer products and interactive media (DCPI), will allow both businesses to share technological expertise, maximize efficiencies and opportunities, and “more effectively leverage Disney’s extensive licensing structure and retail relationships across both segments,” the company announced.

The consumer products division traditionally manages product development, licensing and retail relationships, while Disney Interactive produces digital entertainment including video, mobile and social games; online short-form video; and online sites including Disney.com and Babble.com.

The new structure will be run jointly by consumer products president Leslie Ferraro and Disney Interactive president Jimmy Pitaro, who have both been named co-chairs of DCPI.

“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,” explained Disney COO Tom Staggs.

Added Pitaro: “We are looking forward to leveraging Disney Interactive’s digital, technological and mobile expertise to explore the unlimited possibilities that this partnership represents.”

Under the structure, a new team called DCPI Labs will focus on using cutting-edge technologies to create new immersive products, the company said. DCPI Labs will report directly to Ferraro and Pitaro.

Disney Publishing Worldwide, which has increasingly blended technology with children’s storytelling to create interactive story-based digital experiences, will also report jointly to Ferraro and Pitaro.

Functional areas including finance, strategy and business development, technology, human resources and communications, will be combined into joint teams, reporting again to both Pitaro and Ferraro.

The consumer products portfolio will continue under Ferraro’s leadership, while Pitaro will continue to manage social and mobile games, Asia games, online media and sales, and Disney Infinity.

Disney plans to report the combined businesses as single financial segment beginning in fiscal 2016.

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