BURBANK, Calif., May 18, 2020—Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), today announced that Josh D’Amaro has been named Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and Rebecca Campbell has been named Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International. Mr. D’Amaro and Ms. Campbell will report to Mr. Chapek.
“Our company is very fortunate to have a deep bench of talent and we’re extremely pleased to welcome these two exceptionally qualified Disney veterans to our senior management team,” Mr. Chapek said. “Both Josh and Rebecca have more than two decades of leadership experience with the Company, a keen understanding of our brands and businesses, and a shared passion and vision for delivering extraordinary entertainment and one-of-a-kind experiences.”
Mr. D’Amaro, who most recently served as President, Walt Disney World Resort, succeeds Mr. Chapek as Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. In his new role, Mr. D’Amaro will oversee Disney’s iconic travel and leisure businesses, which include six theme park-resort destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia; a top-rated cruise line; a popular vacation ownership program; and an award-winning guided family adventure business. Disney’s global consumer products operations include the world’s leading licensing business across toys, apparel, home goods, digital games and apps; the world’s largest children’s print publisher; Disney store locations around the world; and the shopDisney e-commerce platform.
“Josh is an exceptionally talented, enthusiastic and innovative leader, consistently delivering strong results while demonstrating his unwavering commitment and care for our cast members, and a genuine appreciation for the importance of the Disney Difference to our guests,” said Mr. Chapek. “I am certain he will take Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products segment – home to some of our company’s most iconic and beloved businesses – to exciting new heights in the years to come.”
Said Mr. D’Amaro: “I want to thank Bob for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to following his record of driving innovation, value and growth as we deliver unforgettable experiences for our guests. It is an incredible honor to lead our team of talented and dedicated cast members around the globe, who go above-and-beyond every single day. Even during this challenging time, their enthusiasm for what we do is unwavering, and my goal is to bring our cast members back to work as soon as possible so they can continue to create that magic.”
Ms. Campbell is a 23-year Disney veteran who has held leadership roles across the Company’s media, international and parks businesses and most recently served as President of Disneyland Resort. As Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, Ms. Campbell will oversee the Company’s streaming businesses globally, including Disney+—which this month reached 54.5 million paid subscribers less than six months after its launch—as well as ESPN+, Hulu and Hotstar. Ms. Campbell’s portfolio also includes the Company’s international businesses, including Disney’s International Channels, Fox Networks International and Star India. Prior to becoming President of Disneyland Resort last year, Ms. Campbell was a member of the Direct-to-Consumer and International leadership team as President, The Walt Disney Company—Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), where she oversaw the Disney+ launch strategy and direct-to-consumer roadmap for the region.
“As we look to grow our direct-to-consumer business and continue to expand into new markets, I can think of no one better suited to lead this effort than Rebecca,” Mr. Chapek said. “She is an exceptionally talented and dedicated leader with a wealth of experience in media, operations and international businesses. She played a critical role in the launch of Disney+ globally while overseeing the EMEA region, and her strong business acumen and creative vision will be invaluable in taking our successful and well-established streaming services into the future.”
Said Ms. Campbell: “Having been a part of the Direct-to-Consumer and International leadership team, I know what a stellar group it is, and I’m honored to be able to lead the organization during this dynamic and exciting time. Armed with the best creative content engines and technology teams in the industry, I am extremely confident in our ability to continue growing the business around the globe.”
Ms. Campbell succeeds longtime Disney executive Kevin Mayer, who is leaving the Company to become Chief Operating Officer of ByteDance and Chief Executive Officer of TikTok, ByteDance’s popular mobile video platform. Mr. Mayer led Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment since its founding in 2018 and oversaw the successful launches of ESPN+ and Disney+ and the integration of Hulu. During his career at Disney, Mr. Mayer also served as the Company’s Chief Strategy Officer and was instrumental in facilitating a number of strategic acquisitions, including the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
“Kevin has had an extraordinary impact on our company over the years, most recently as head of our direct-to-consumer business,” said Mr. Chapek. “He has done a masterful job of overseeing and growing our portfolio of streaming services, while bringing together the creative and technological assets required to launch the hugely successful Disney+ globally. Having worked alongside Kevin for many years on the senior management team, I am enormously grateful to him for his support and friendship and wish him tremendous success going forward.”
Mr. Mayer said: “I am very proud of what our extraordinarily talented Direct-to-Consumer and International team has accomplished in creating and delivering a world-class portfolio of streaming services, particularly Disney+. Rebecca was a critical member of the DTCI team from its inception, and I am certain the business is in great hands and will continue to expand and thrive under her expert leadership. It’s truly been a privilege for me to be part of the iconic Walt Disney Company, and I am enormously grateful to Bob Iger for his trust and confidence, and to Bob Chapek and his senior management team for their collaboration and support over the years.”
Rebecca Campbell, Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International
As Chairman of DTCI, Ms. Campbell will drive the next phase of Disney+’s growth as the service rolls out in new markets around the globe. Following launches in Western Europe and India this spring, Disney+ will debut in Japan in June, followed by the Nordics, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal in September, and Latin America later in the year.
Ms. Campbell will also oversee the expansion of Disney+’s robust collection of library and original content, which has continued to grow since the service launched last November. New additions to Disney+ include the blockbuster Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of Disney+’s most successful series, The Mandalorian on May 4, to be followed later in the year by season two of The Mandalorian; a filmed version of the original Broadway production of Hamilton, debuting on July 3; and the fall premiere of a new Disney+ original series from National Geographic, The Right Stuff, based on the Tom Wolfe book about NASA’s Project Mercury.
In addition to leading Disney’s streaming services and the technology organization that supports them, Ms. Campbell will be in charge of regional teams stretching from Europe to Asia to Latin America.
Ms. Campbell comes to her new role from Disneyland Resort, where as President she oversaw two iconic theme parks—Disneyland and Disney California Adventure—three resort hotels and Downtown Disney, and a workforce of 31,000 cast members. Prior to that, as President of The Walt Disney Company—EMEA in London for nearly two years, Ms. Campbell was in charge of Disney’s media, motion pictures, and all other operations across EMEA (excluding Disneyland Paris), and was responsible for a diverse team of over 5,000 employees operating in 59 markets with offices in 25 countries. Ms. Campbell played a role in securing the first major distribution deal for Disney+ in EMEA and also led the integration of 21st Century Fox’s businesses with Disney’s operations across the region.
From 2010 through 2017, Ms. Campbell served as President, ABC Owned Television Stations, responsible for the Company’s eight local TV stations and their digital assets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno. In addition, Ms. Campbell oversaw ABC National Television sales and ABC Daytime. Under her leadership, the ABC station group strategically evolved itself from a traditional television business into a vibrant, fully integrated broadcast operation focused on the future. The stations launched data-driven, mobile-first video strategies and obtained market leadership in on-platform video metrics as well as social reach and engagement.
From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Campbell served as President and General Manager of WABC-TV – New York, the group’s flagship station in the nation’s largest television market, where she was responsible for WABC-TV and all of its ancillary businesses, including two additional digital platforms and “Live with Regis and Kelly.”
Ms. Campbell joined The Walt Disney Company in 1997 as Vice President of Programming at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2003, she was named President and General Manager of 6ABC. Prior to her Disney tenure, Ms. Campbell held several programming and production positions at various television stations in Allentown and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Campbell is a magna cum laude graduate of Bloomsburg University with a dual major in journalism and political science.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
As Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Mr. D’Amaro will be responsible for driving innovation and enhancing the guest experience across the segment’s theme parks, cruise line, retail and other operations. Mr. D’Amaro continues his focus on leading teams whose unique culture, relentless focus on excellence, and passion for the brand delivers the “Disney Difference” to guests around the world.
In conjunction with Mr. D’Amaro’s promotion to Chairman of the segment, several key appointments to the senior leadership team were announced. Jeff Vahle, formerly President, Disney Signature Experiences, assumes the role of President, Walt Disney World Resort. Ken Potrock, who had served as President, Consumer Products, becomes President, Disneyland Resort. Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Walt Disney Imagineering Operations/Product Creation/Publishing/Games, has been named President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing. Thomas Mazloum, who was Senior Vice President of Resort and Transportation Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, becomes President, Disney Signature Experiences. (See press release from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products for more information).
In his former role as President of Walt Disney World Resort, Mr. D’Amaro led a cast of more than 75,000—America’s largest single-site workforce—and was responsible for all facets of business for the resort, including its four theme parks, two water parks, 28 resort hotels, four golf courses, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and the Disney Springs entertainment-shopping-dining complex.
Before being named President of Walt Disney World Resort in 2019, Mr. D’Amaro was president of the Disneyland Resort, where he opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park and helped initiate development of the upcoming Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure.
Mr. D’Amaro joined Disney in 1998 at the Disneyland Resort and held a number of leadership positions across the company. He served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy for Walt Disney World Resort and also led the sites’ Resorts & Transportation Operations. He served as Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park as it underwent the largest expansion in its history. His other roles included Adventures by Disney; Sales and Travel Operations at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; Finance for the Global Licensing division of Disney Consumer Products; and Business Planning and Strategy Development for the Disneyland Resort.
Mr. D’Amaro earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney is a Dow 30 company.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our business prospects, growth, expansion, performance, strategy or plans; business leadership or structure; the anticipated availability, timing or nature of our products or services; future resumption of operations; and other statements that are not historical in nature as well as statements identified by words such as “will,” “certain,” “look forward to,” “look to,” “confident in,” “continue,” “goal” and similar words and expressions. These statements are made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made. Management does not undertake any obligation to update these statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including restructuring or strategic initiatives (including capital investments and asset acquisitions or dispositions) or other business decisions, as well as from developments beyond the Company’s control, including:
- changes in domestic and global economic conditions, competitive conditions and consumer preferences;
- adverse weather conditions or natural disasters;
- health concerns;
- international, regulatory, political, or military developments;
- technological developments;
- labor markets and activities; and
each such risk includes the current and future impacts of, and is amplified by, COVID-19 and related mitigation efforts.
Such developments may further affect entertainment, travel and leisure businesses generally and may, among other things, affect (or further affect):
- the performance of the Company’s theatrical and home entertainment releases;
- the advertising market for broadcast and cable television programming;
- demand for our products and services;
- expenses of providing medical and pension benefits;
- income tax expense;
- performance of some or all company businesses either directly or through their impact on those who distribute our products; and
- achievement of anticipated benefits of the TFCF transaction.
Additional factors are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 28, 2019 under Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis,” Item 1, “Business,” and subsequent reports, including, among others, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Forms 8-K, which factors should be read together with this press release.