The creation of a unit to be named Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) is a response to “changing consumer preferences in a marketplace increasingly influenced by technology,” the company says.
It will be jointly run by Leslie Ferraro, who was president of Disney Consumer Products, and Jimmy Pitaro, who had the same title at Disney Interactive. They’ll both oversee functional areas including Finance, Strategy and Business Development, Technology, Human Resources and Communications. Ferraro will continue to run consumer products development, licensing, and retail relationship management. Pitaro will still manage social and mobile games, Asia games, online media and sales, and Disney Infinity.
The two execs also will share management of a new team, DCPI Labs, designed to explore “cutting edge technologies to create new immersive products.” They’ll also both run Disney Publishing Worldwide.
“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,” COO Tom Staggs says.
For the fiscal year ending in September, Consumer Products was on track to generate $1.8 billion in operating income, up 6.3% vs the 2014 fiscal year, on revenues of $4.6 billion, up 1.6%, Morgan Stanley estimates. By contrast, Interactive was expected to have $157.9 million in operating income, up 14%, on revenues of $1.3 billion, down 3.1%.
Execs say that there’s increasing overlap in the two operations. Ferraro adds that both divisions are seeing “great success in the marketplace with technology-driven initiatives alongside our more traditional lines of business.” s
Pitaro talked up “unlimited possibilities that this partnership represents.”