Today it was announced that James Pitaro, currently Co-Chair of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and President, Disney Interactive, has been named Chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media by Tom Staggs. He is taking on additional responsibilities as fellow DCPI Co-Chair Leslie Ferraro departs to pursue marketing and consumer engagement projects, with Disney as her first client.
They had shared joint oversight since the two divisions were combined last June. Ferraro joined Disney Consumer Products that May following Bob Chapek’s move to run the theme park division. She has been with Disney for 17 years, most of which was spent in various marketing roles for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Pitaro will continue to report directly to Mr. Staggs and Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger.
“Jimmy’s strong and successful leadership makes him the natural choice to run DCPI at this dynamic and exciting time,” Mr. Staggs said. “He brings to this expanded position his keen eye for technological innovation and deep familiarity with the brands and franchises that continue to drive the segment’s growth.”
“I’m incredibly honored to lead such a talented team as we combine our technology-driven efforts and our more traditional product lines and retail operations to deliver amazing new merchandise and experiences that will build on Disney’s record for consistently exceeding consumer expectations,” Mr. Pitaro said.
“I know that Jimmy will continue to lead the team to new levels of success, and I am excited to pursue my long-term passion for marketing, branding and creating winning consumer engagement strategies,” Ms. Ferraro said.
“Having worked with Leslie throughout her 17-year career at Disney, I have great respect for her abilities and appreciate her contributions to the Company, which include creating many of our Parks & Resorts’ most successful marketing strategies and iconic campaigns,” Mr. Staggs said. “Given her proven marketing savvy, I know she’ll have great success in her new endeavor.”
In addition to his role as Co-Chair of DCPI, Mr. Pitaro served as President of Disney Interactive, leading the Company’s multi-platform games business and overseeing a suite of premium web and app experiences that serve as the online and mobile gateways to Disney and its brands. At Disney Interactive, Mr. Pitaro has led the Company’s social media efforts across all platforms and spearheaded digital video projects that extend Disney storylines. Additionally, he has established Disney Interactive as a center of digital excellence within The Walt Disney Company.
Prior to joining Disney Interactive in 2010, Mr. Pitaro served as Vice President of Yahoo Media, where he was responsible for guiding the strategic growth and continued development of Yahoo’s media properties.
Before that role, Mr. Pitaro was Vice President and General Manager of Yahoo Sports, and Vice President and Head of Business Affairs for Yahoo Music. Prior to joining Yahoo, he was Vice President of Business Affairs for LAUNCH Media, Inc. and practiced law at several New York firms.
Mr. Pitaro holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law.