The Walt Disney (DIS) Company is often associated with theme parks and animated movies. The actual business reach of the company, one of the largest in the global entertainment and media industry, is much more vast. Through expansion and a series of acquisitions over the past few decades, Disney now also owns TV networks, streaming services, a cruise line and a host of consumer products. And it takes more than a handful of executives to ensure these business divisions run smoothly.
Disney underwent a major reorganization earlier this year under its returning CEO, Bob Iger. In February, Iger announced the restructuring of Disney into three branches:
- Disney Entertainment, which includes all of Disney’s film, TV and streaming services
- Parks, Experiences, and Products include theme parks, the cruise line, resorts, and all consumer products
- ESPN encompasses eight linear networks, ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+, company sports events and audio, digital, social and fantasy platforms
Many of Disney’s top executives are longtime company veterans but now hold new titles due to Iger’s restructuring. Here are nine key people in Disney’s many business units and media brands:
Bob Iger, CEO
Iger served as CEO of Disney from 2005 to 2020 and chairman from 2005 to 2021. He announced his intention to retire in 2020, but came back to the media conglomerate in November 2022 when his successor, Bob Chapek, was ousted by Disney’s board. Iger said he plans to remain CEO at least through 2026, while the company finds a new successor. This year, he led a massive executive shakeup at Disney, and many of the positions listed below are newly created.
Hugh Johnston, chief financial officer
As the newest member of the Disney executive team, Hugh Johnston is stepping into a role last held by Christine McCarthy before she resigned in June. After McCarthy left, Kevin Lansberry, the financial chief of Disney’s parks division, filled in as interim CFO until Johnston’s appointment on Nov. 6. Johnston is the only executive on this list who comes in as an outsider. Before joining Disney, he was the CFO of PepsiCo for almost 14 years.
Asad Ayaz, chief brand officer
Asad Ayaz has been at Disney for 18 years. He led the marketing efforts of Walt Disney Studios and Disney+ before being promoted to brand chief in April. Ayaz now oversees marketing all Disney products and services across its divisions, including amusement parks and ESPN.
Alan Bergman and Dana Walden, co-chairs of Disney Entertainment
Disney Entertainment is a new unit that was created in February. Iger appointed Alan Bergman, who previously led Disney’s studio division, and Dana Walden, head of Disney’s TV products, to oversee all of the company’s entertainment content, which includes Marvel Studios, Pixar, Disney+, Hulu, ABC, Disney Channel and other film and TV content production operations.
Walden came to Disney in 2019 through Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, where she was head of Fox Television Group. She is the highest-ranking female executive at Disney. Bergman has been at Disney since 2005. He started as the president of Walt Disney Studios and was appointed the studio’s co-chairman in 2019.
Joe Earley, president of Direct-to-Consumer (head of streaming)
Joe Earley leads Disney’s streaming products, which fall under Disney Entertainment, and reports to Bergman and Walden. He was previously the president of Hulu and was promoted to replace Michael Paull, who stepped down as head of direct-to-consumer in April. Earley has been at Disney since 2019. He started as the marketing and operations lead for the launch of Disney+.
James Pitaro, chairman of ESPN
James Pitaro was appointed as chairman of ESPN in February after a reorganization that made ESPN a standalone division under Disney. Previously, ESPN was part of Disney’s entertainment division, and Pitaro was running ESPN and all sports content across Disney’s networks.
Pitaro has been at Disney since 2010. He joined as co-president of Disney Interactive, the company’s video game developer and publisher. He later held roles including chairman of consumer products and interactive media and president and co-chair of now-defunct Disney Media Networks. Before joining Disney, Pitaro was the head of media at Yahoo.
Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Products
Josh D’Amaro has been at Disney for 25 years. In his current role, D’Amaro oversees Disney’s domestic and international theme parks and resorts, Disney cruises, and consumer products such as toys, digital games, Disney Publishing and shopDisney. He was promoted to lead Disney’s Parks, Experiences, and Products division in 2020. Before that, he was president of the Walt Disney World Resort.
Kevin Lansberry, chief financial officer of Parks
Aside from a corporate CFO, Disney has a second financial chief for its parks division. Lansberry was the CFO of Disney Parks from 2017 until June this year when he temporarily left to fill the vacancy of corporate CFO. With Johnston’s appointment, Lansberry is set to return to his old posting. He has previously held multiple roles in the parks division, including vice president of Animal Kingdom and senior vice president of worldwide travel operations. Lansberry has been with Disney for 37 years.