BURBANK, Calif., September 27, 2013—Michael Abrams has been named senior vice president for new strategic business initiatives at The Walt Disney Company, it was announced today by Kevin A. Mayer, executive vice president, Corporate Strategy & Business Development of The Walt Disney Company. Mr. Abrams will report to Mr. Mayer.
“Michael is a seasoned executive with a proven track record of identifying strategic investment opportunities in the digital space,” Mr. Mayer said. “Innovation and technology are key drivers of Disney’s overall growth strategy, and Michael will lead our efforts in pinpointing business development opportunities that could mature into long-term, large-scale businesses within the company.”
In his new role, Mr. Abrams will lead Disney’s Strategic Business Innovation team, which focuses on identifying and incubating innovative new businesses that will complement the company’s existing operating portfolio. He will also spearhead Disney’s engagement of the outside development community in generating new business ideas for the company through such initiatives as the recent Developer Day in Silicon Valley.
Mr. Abrams succeeds Marty Yudkovitz, who is retiring. “Marty formed the Strategic Business Innovation team and has led it to great success since its inception, and we are pleased that he has agreed to stay on as a senior adviser to Michael through 2014,” Mr. Mayer said.
Mr. Abrams joins Disney from Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment and e-commerce company, where he most recently served as president, Digital Ventures. Mr. Abrams was responsible for evaluating, incubating, investing in and acquiring entertainment technology businesses globally, and also launched Live Nation’s Studios and Mobile businesses. During his 10 years with the company he also ran the Live Nation Labs Fund, which provided for strategic investments in early-stage technologies and entrepreneurs. Prior to Live Nation, Mr. Abrams held a variety of senior leadership positions with companies including Clear Channel Communications, Lollapalooza and Cinebase Software.