Disney Puts Consumer, Interactive Under Pitaro's Sole Purview

  • Ex-Yahoo executive who joined in 2010 named unit's chairman
  • Co-chair Ferraro leaves Disney for independent venture

Walt Disney Co. named Jimmy Pitaro chairman of consumer products and interactive media, consolidating oversight of the company’s video games, toys and other Web ventures under the former Yahoo! Inc. executive.

Pitaro’s ascension concludes a transition that began last year when Disney merged its consumer products and interactive divisions. Pitaro, who joined Disney Interactive in 2010, was named co-chair alongside Leslie Ferraro, who had run the company’s consumer products division. Ferraro left Disney to pursue unspecified marketing projects, with Disney as her first client, the company said in a statement Monday.

Disney merged the two divisions because of the growing overlap between toys, games and other online extensions of the company’s brand. The division reported sales of $1.9 billion and operating income of $860 million in the three-month period that ended in December, its first quarter as a combined entity. The unit is smaller than Disney’s TV, parks and film businesses.

“Jimmy’s strong and successful leadership make him the natural choice to run DCPI at this dynamic and exciting time,” Disney Chief Operating Officer Thomas Staggs said in the statement. “He brings to this expanded position his keen eye for technological innovation and deep familiarity with the brands and franchises that continue to drive the segment’s growth.”

Pitaro will continue to report to Staggs and Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger.

Ferraro had been with Disney since 1999, when she joined the marketing department for the company’s theme parks. She rose up the chain to become executive vice president of the division’s global marketing, sales and travel operations before moving to the consumer products unit last year.

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