Disney’s Wilkinson Forms Consulting Firm

BURBANK, Calif.–William J. Wilkinson, senior vice president of human resources for The Walt Disney Company, will form a consulting organization, and step down as head of human resources, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, president and chief operating officer.

Wilkinson’s consulting firm will assist corporations in dealing with various human resources opportunities in the increasingly diverse marketplace. He also will work to place more minority products in mainstream distribution. He plans to depart Disney at the end of this month.

“Bill has served The Walt Disney Company and ABC well over the past nearly 30 years,” said Iger. “He has always demonstrated a real passion for diversity and inclusion in life, in the marketplace and in the workplace. For several months, he has expressed his desire to extend some of those efforts to the overall marketplace, and we applaud his decision. Through his consulting services, we plan to retain his participation in Disney’s overall outreach, the diversity of our product and creation of future opportunities of those diverse populations that we serve. We wish him well in his new endeavor.”

Said Wilkinson, “For a long time, Bob Iger and I have discussed my desire to expand my work in bringing about greater inclusion and diversity. Knowing that I have Bob’s and Disney’s support was very important to arriving at the decision to go out on my own, and I am grateful to be able to maintain a close relationship with Disney through my consulting.”

After serving two years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division, Wilkinson joined ABC in 1973 in the Human Resources Department and moved through a series of increasingly responsible positions.

When ABC was acquired by Disney in 1996, he was vice president of human resources and executive assistant to the chairman. Soon thereafter, he was named to his current post of senior vice president of human resources for Disney, where he oversaw all human resources activities throughout the company.

A successor to Wilkinson is expected to be named soon, Iger said.