Continuing our look at the 10 most fascinating Disney people of the year, it’s now time to announce our top pick. Our Person of the Year for 2017 is probably not someone you have heard of, but she is going to play a fundamental role in the future of Disney. In September, Bob Iger announced that Agnes Chu would oversee video programming for the upcoming Disney over-the-top service.
Chu will work with The Walt Disney Studios, Disney-ABC Television, Disney Digital Media, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm to develop high-quality entertainment for the service which is set to launch in the latter half of 2019. She will work with the BAMTech team, who is handling the backend of the service, to ensure that the service is a good experience from launch. While she is doing this, she will be reporting directly to Bob Iger.
Iger has made it clear he knows the value of making sure the experience is good with high quality content — just look at the acquisitions he has made. When Disneylife struggled with the technical side of things, he bought the experts at BAMTech. In order to get high-quality general audience content, he went after 21st Century Fox. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have been able to generate buzz worthy quality programming. When it comes to doing this for the Disney service, Iger has tasked Chu with that responsibility.
This is not the first time Chu reported directly to Iger. She worked in his office to support the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort and the relaunch of Star Wars. Before that she spent her time as a TV executive at ABC overseeing diverse programming from daytime drama General Hospital to primetime comedy.
She also has experience in the digital space. She joined Disney in 2008 to create content for ABC’s digital platforms including LOST webisodes and led the first live-stream of ABC’s coverage of the red carpet and behind-the-scenes content at the Oscars.
Before joining Disney in 2008, she worked in the film business at Jigsaw Productions where she worked with directors Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood and on films such as THE BLUES and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.
She also has theme park experience as she most recently served as the executive of story and franchise development at Walt Disney Imagineering. As you can see, she has worked with nearly every content creator at Disney. We also can see this in the diverse lineup of already announced productions for the service including shows from Pixar, Disney Channel, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.
Bob Iger is focused on building the company to a digital future to stand alongside Amazon and Netflix. With so many eggs in that basket, Agnes Chu has a lot on her shoulders. Her vision will guide the biggest content initiative for Disney branded content in recent memory. We wish her all the best — and if she needs any help… we have some ideas.
For being tasked with leading Disney’s future in digital content, Agnes Chu has been named our 2017 Disney Person of the Year.