Disney shuffles interactive unit; Pleasants out

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm •  Published: November 11, 2013
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. is shuffling the executive ranks at its interactive division, which last week posted only its second profitable quarter since results began to be broken out in late 2008.

Co-president John Pleasants is stepping down, while co-president Jimmy Pitaro is taking over responsibility for the division.

Pleasants was formerly the CEO of Playdom, the social game company Disney acquired in 2010 for $563 million. Pitaro, a former Yahoo executive, also joined Disney in 2010.

In 2011, the two set a goal for the unit to be profitable in 2013. In the fourth quarter ending in September, the interactive unit had an operating profit of $16 million, but lost $87 million for the full year. Quarterly sales more than doubled to $396 million, boosted by the launch of the video game, "Disney Infinity."

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement that the move, in part, was to fulfill an original objective to consolidate the interactive division "under one Los Angeles-based leader" after three years of operating improvements. Pleasants had spent half his time in the San Francisco area where he maintained a residence. Pitaro is based in Los Angeles.