Andrew Mooney, who for the past 12 years has overseen one the of the world’s most lucrative merchandisers as head of Disney Consumer Products, has resigned. He joined Disney’s most profitable unit as president in 1999 and was upped to chairman in May 2003. No word yet on what “a leadership role with another organization” means. Here’s the email he sent to employees today:

It’s never easy to leave a place you love, but today I informed Bob Iger that I’ve made the difficult decision to resign as Chairman of Disney Consumer Products. After 30 years contributing to the success of two of the world’s most valuable brands in Disney and Nike, I believe this is the perfect time to take that experience into a leadership role with another organization and corporate boards.

It has been a tremendous honor to have worked for a company like Disney for more than 11 years and for a leader like Bob. But what I will miss the most and what I will always treasure is the experience to have worked with such a talented group of people at DCP.

Together, we have radically changed the licensing business, created new brands and franchises like Disney Princess and Disney Fairies, creatively re-energized the Disney Store chain and launched new businesses like Disney English. All of this has resulted in year upon year growth and doubling of our creative output.

I’m proud and grateful to have had the honor of calling each one of you a colleague and am confident that DCP is well-positioned to continue this momentum for many years.

I thank Bob for his understanding in my desire to pursue other ambitions as well as his guidance and friendship over the last 11 years.