In this new role, LaBerge will report to Kevin Mayer and help shape the technology that delivers Disney’s entertainment and sports content to consumers around the world.
“As a champion of innovation and growth, Aaron will work across our segment and the larger company to develop an industry-leading technology infrastructure to meet future demands,” Mayer said in a statement.
Formed in March, the the new Direct-to-Consumer and International division is charged with distribution of Disney’s content. The segment is comprised of Disney’s international media and direct-to-consumer businesses globally, including all Disney networks outside of the US, the ESPN+ streaming service, the upcoming Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service and the Company’s ownership stake in Hulu.
LaBerge will lead a team of thousands of technologists, engineers, designers and developers drawn from across the company. The group is responsible for linear and digital media distribution technology, advertising technology, consumer data platforms, international broadcast operations, and the development, engineering, and deployment of all consumer-facing digital products for the company globally.
There will be nine core teams – Business Platforms, Data Platforms, Information Security, Media Engineering, Media Services, Product Engineering, Product and Design, Technology Operations and Office of the CTO.
LaBerge and team will collaborate closely with Disney Streaming Services, who remain responsible for DTCI’s direct-to-consumer subscription streaming platforms.
Since 2015, LaBerge served as executive vice president and CTO at ESPN, where he oversaw the strategic leadership and direction of technology – and its marriage with ESPN’s content – across all media. He also served on the Disney Research Advisory Board.
From 2007 until his return to Disney in 2013 (via ESPN), LaBerge was CEO of Fanzter Inc., a venture-funded consumer software and digital product development company he co-founded. He ran its business and directed the development and launch of a variety of consumer-focused Internet and mobile products.
LaBerge first joined The Walt Disney Company in 1997, through Disney’s acquisition of Starwave Ventures, the company that produced some of the company’s earliest Internet products, including ESPN.com and ABCNews.com. Before Starwave, LaBerge worked as a senior software engineer at Renaissance Interactive, an early Internet development and consulting firm, specializing in Internet-based publishing and content management systems.
A native of Charleston, S.C., LaBerge holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of South Carolina. Based in Bristol, Conn., he spends significant time working in New York, Los Angeles and other locations.