Disney Post | Official Blog of The Walt Disney Company

Disney Post | Official Blog of the Walt Disney Company

July 2, 2015

Star-Spangled Fun at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

By Rachel Green, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

With Independence Day just around the corner, Disney Parks are gearing up for star-spangled fun. To celebrate, parks and resorts in the U.S. are preparing to delight guests of all ages with world-class holiday entertainment.

At Disney California Adventure, a pyrotechnic water display will kick off each showing of World of Color—Celebrate! Across the way at Disneyland Park, guests have been captivated by the new Diamond Celebration nighttime spectacular, Disneyland Forever, since its debut in May. For the holiday, this street-to-sky fireworks show will be followed by a fantastic Fourth of July finale. And keeping with Walt Disney’s tradition of hosting military performances at Disneyland, performers from the United States Air Force and United States Marines will be appearing in special shows throughout the resort, today through July 6.

Guests can also celebrate the nation’s birthday at Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom will show a very special fireworks spectacular—Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky—only on July 3 and 4. At Epcot, guests can enjoy musical performances of iconic American songs by Voices of Liberty at America Gardens Theater. That evening, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will culminate with a grand finale celebration. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party will lead up to a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration” with a live DJ that will keep guests dancing to American rock ’n roll until fireworks light up the sky.

The celebrations are even extending to our guests on Disney Cruise Line. Guests sailing on the Fourth of July will enjoy holiday-inspired food and a special deck party with patriotic music and performances from Mickey and friends.

From live entertainment to stunning nighttime spectaculars, Disney Parks are a top destination for a fun-filled, family-friendly Fourth of July. To stay up to date on Independence Day entertainment, visit the Disney Parks Blog.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S. are preparing to delight guests of all ages with world-class holiday entertainment.
Keeping with Walt Disney’s tradition of hosting military performances at Disneyland, performers from the United States Air Force and United States Marines will be appearing in special shows throughout the resort, today through July 6.
Magic Kingdom will show a very special fireworks spectacular—Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky—only on July 3 and 4.
Disney Cruise Line guests sailing on the Fourth of July will enjoy holiday-inspired food and a special deck party with patriotic music and performances from Mickey and friends.
July 2, 2015

Thirty Disney Employees from Around the World Selected for Disney VoluntEARS Global Service Project in Support of Special Olympics World Games

By Cynthia Momdjian, The Walt Disney Company

In just a couple of weeks, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games will bring an exciting series of competitions to Los Angeles. Disney is proud to support this landmark event as a Founding Champion and Games Sponsor—with ESPN serving as the official media partner—and through its second Disney VoluntEARS Global Service Project.

The program will once again bring together 30 Disney VoluntEARS representing 15 countries—Canada, Italy, Russia, China, Argentina and Australia, to name just a few—to make the games a memorable experiences for athletes, their families and thousands of fans.

The collage above includes each Disney employee’s surprise moment, when their respective colleagues and leaders told them they would be participating in the project.

From working alongside community members to assisting at competition venues and interacting with athletes, the Disney VoluntEARS Global Service Project participants will have a unique opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and make a lasting, positive impact outside of their own respective communities.

Stay tuned to Disney Post for updates on the group’s progress and Disney’s participation in Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015.

Disney VoluntEARS Global Service Project participants will have a unique opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and make a lasting, positive impact outside of their own respective communities.
June 30, 2015

Christine M. McCarthy Named Chief Financial Officer and Kevin Mayer Named Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company

By Disney Post Staff, The Walt Disney Company

Christine M. McCarthy has been named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Kevin Mayer has been named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“Christine has done an incredible job as Disney’s Treasurer over the past 15 years, and her strong leadership and keen financial acumen make her an ideal Chief Financial Officer,” Mr. Iger said. “She is highly respected in the finance sector, and in this new role she will have even more impact on creating value for Disney shareholders.” Ms. McCarthy will report directly to Mr. Iger.

“Kevin has overseen Corporate Strategy and Business Development at a time of unprecedented growth for Disney, playing an integral role in our successful acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm,” Mr. Iger said. “With this promotion to the new role of Chief Strategy Officer he will continue to focus on growth opportunities and help position the company for the future.” Mr. Mayer, who previously reported to the Chief Financial Officer, will jointly report to Mr. Iger and Thomas O. Staggs, Chief Operating Officer.

As CFO, Ms. McCarthy will now oversee Investor Relations, Corporate Planning and Control, Tax, Corporate Treasury, Corporate Real Estate, Facilities, Integrated Supply Chain Management, and Corporate Citizenship. She succeeds James A. Rasulo as CFO.

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted with the role of CFO of this incredibly dynamic company,” Ms. McCarthy said. “Under Bob’s leadership, Disney has delivered record results, and I look forward to working with our talented senior management team as we build on the company’s financial strength and strong balance sheet to deliver shareholder value.”

In Ms. McCarthy’s most recent role as Executive Vice President, Corporate Real Estate, Alliances and Treasurer, she developed a finance team responsible for treasury, corporate finance, capital markets, financial risk, international treasury and investments, credit, and risk management.

Mr. Mayer has served since 2005 as Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, and in his new role as Chief Strategy Officer he will oversee Corporate Strategy, Business Development, Acquisitions, Enterprise Information Technology, Innovation, Brand and Franchise Management, and Global Corporate Alliances. 

“I’m extremely gratified to be given this opportunity to further expand Disney’s assets and businesses,” Mr. Mayer said. “Disney’s growth has been incredible these past several years, and I am proud of the role my group has played in facilitating that expansion and excited by the strategic opportunities that lie ahead for the company.”

In 2009 and 2011, readers of The Deal named Disney the Most Admired Corporate Dealmaker in the consumer sector.

Mr. Mayer rejoined Disney from L.E.K. Consulting LLC, where he was a partner and head of the Global Media and Entertainment practice. Prior to L.E.K., Mr. Mayer held leading positions at interactive and Internet businesses, including chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Interactive, where he managed all aspects of new media business, including content, sales, business and technology development, and distribution.

Mr. Mayer first joined Disney in 1993 as Manager, Strategic Planning, where he spearheaded strategy and business development for all of Disney's interactive/Internet and television businesses worldwide. Later, he became Executive Vice President of the Internet group, responsible for the operations, business plans, creative direction and distribution of Disney's popular Web sites, including ESPN.com and ABCNews.com. Mr. Mayer received his M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1990, and holds a M.S.E.E. from San Diego State University and a B.S.M.E. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ms. McCarthy has served as Disney’s representative on the board of FM Global since 2010. She is also a Trustee of the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, Calif., and a mentor for the National Math and Science Initiative’s STEM program. She has been named multiple times to Treasury & Risk magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in Finance,” and in June, 2015 she was named Treasury Today magazine’sWoman of the Year, one of the profession’s most highly regarded benchmarks.

Prior to joining Disney, Ms. McCarthy was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Imperial Bancorp from 1997 to 2000. She held various finance and planning positions at First Interstate Bancorp from 1981 to 1996, and was elected Executive Vice President in Finance for First Interstate in 1993. Ms. McCarthy completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences at Smith College, where she received an award for excellence in botany, and later earned an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Christine M. McCarthy has been named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Company.
Kevin Mayer has been named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company.
June 30, 2015

Disney Rises to No. 2 Spot on Barron’s Ranking of the World’s Most Respected Companies

By Beth Deitchman, The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company has advanced to the No. 2 spot on Barron’s annual ranking of the World’s Most Respected Companies. This marks a significant leap from last year’s list, which had Disney ranked at No. 6.

Barron’s has been compiling its list of the World’s Most Respected Companies since 2005. The 100 companies are selected based upon their total stock market capitalization; institutional investors are then surveyed about their feelings regarding each corporation and asked to rank the factors that they take into consideration as they determine corporate respect. Respondents are also invited to comment upon individual companies.

The full list appeared in Barron’s June 27 edition, and the financial weekly noted that Disney has consistently finished in or near the top 10 spots since 2010. Ronald Doyle, head of equity investing at MeadowBrook Investment Advisors in Livonia, Michigan, was quoted in the article as saying that Disney has done “a great job of developing iconic franchises” and he praised the Company’s distribution platforms, as well.

The Walt Disney Company has advanced to the No. 2 spot on Barron’s annual ranking of the World’s Most Respected Companies.
June 29, 2015

New Disney Segment to Combine Consumer Products and Interactive Divisions

By Disney Post Staff, The Walt Disney Company

In response to changing consumer preferences in a marketplace increasingly influenced by technology, The Walt Disney Company today announced a realignment of two of its divisions, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive. The new combined segment, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), will be run jointly by Leslie Ferraro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and President, Disney Consumer Products; and Jimmy Pitaro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and President, Disney Interactive.

“Both Disney Interactive and Disney Consumer Products have a strong track record of connecting people to their favorite stories and characters,” said Tom Staggs, Chief Operating Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “As technology and digital entertainment continue to evolve, a shared innovation strategy will enable this new segment to create unique and engaging products and experiences that exceed consumers’ expectations.”

The new structure is designed to share technological expertise and maximize opportunities and efficiencies across two divisions that have increasingly become focused on similar objectives of delivering cutting-edge, interactive consumer experiences and products. In addition, the change will more effectively leverage Disney’s extensive licensing structure and retail relationships across both segments.

“The timing of this announcement could not be better, with both divisions seeing great success in the marketplace with technology-driven initiatives alongside our more traditional lines of business,” said Leslie Ferraro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and President, Disney Consumer Products.

“We are looking forward to leveraging Disney Interactive’s digital, technological and mobile expertise to explore the unlimited possibilities that this partnership represents,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Co-Chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and President, Disney Interactive.

A new team called DCPI Labs will focus on using cutting edge technologies to create new immersive products. DCPI Labs will report directly to Ms. Ferraro and Mr. Pitaro.

Disney Publishing Worldwide, a leading publisher of children’s books that has increasingly blended technology with storytelling to create interactive story-based digital experiences, will also report jointly to Ms. Ferraro and Mr. Pitaro.

Functional areas—including Finance, Strategy and Business Development, Technology, Human Resources and Communications—will be combined into joint teams reporting to both Mr. Pitaro and Ms. Ferraro.

The traditional consumer products portfolio—product development, licensing, retail relationship management, and more—will continue under Ms. Ferraro’s leadership. Mr. Pitaro will continue to manage social and mobile games, Asia games, online media and sales, and Disney Infinity.

As a result of the new structure, Disney plans to report the combined businesses as one segment for financial reporting purposes as of the beginning of fiscal 2016.

The Walt Disney Company today announced a realignment of two of its divisions, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive.

Pages