Leslie Ferraro steps down, leaving co-chair James Pitaro to lead the DCPI division.
James Pitaro, currently co-chair of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and president of Disney Interactive has been named chairman of DCPI, following current co-chair Leslie Ferraro’s departure from the company to pursue marketing and consumer engagement projects, with Disney as her first client.
The announcement was made by The Walt Disney Company’s chief operating officer, Thomas O. Staggs, to whom Pitaro will continue to report. Pitaro will also report to Disney chairman and chief executive officer Robert A. Iger.
“Jimmy’s strong and successful leadership makes him the natural choice to run DCPI at this dynamic and exciting time,” says Staggs. “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. 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. Given her proven marketing savvy, I know she’ll have great success in her new endeavor.
Ferraro, was appointed president of Disney Consumer Products less than a year ago in May 2015 from her previous position as an executive vice president in the company’s Parks and Resorts division. Then, a little over a month later, at the end of June 2015, the company announced that it wascombining its consumer products and interactive units into one, new business unit that would co-chaired by Ferraro and Pitaro.
Pitaro joined Disney’s then standalone interactive division in 2010 from Yahoo Media where he was vice president. As president of Disney Interactive, Pitaro led the company’s social media efforts across all platforms and spearheaded digital video projects that extend Disney storylines. He oversees the company’s multi-platform games business and a suite of premium web and app experiences that serve as the online and mobile gateways to Disney and its brands.
Before serving as VP of Yahoo Media, Pitaro was vice president and general manager of Yahoo Sports, and vice president and head of business affairs for Yahoo Music.
“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,” says Pitaro.
Meanwhile, Ferraro says she is eager to return to her marketing roots, although The New York Times reports that her resignation came “under pressure.”
“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,” says Ferraro.