BURBANK, Calif., June 30, 2005 — Kevin Mayer has been appointed executive vice president of the new Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technology Group, it was announced today by Tom Staggs, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Walt Disney Company. Mayer will lead the smaller, tightly-focused group as it targets emerging businesses new to Disney’s existing portfolio, manages cross-divisional issues and opportunities, and evaluates new technology and business models. The group will be responsible for aiding in the evaluation and take the lead in the execution of potential acquisition transactions as well.
The company also announced today that Marty Yudkovitz has joined the Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technology Group as senior vice president, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, reporting to Mayer. Yudkovitz will have a lead role in identifying and executing the company’s most promising new business development opportunities.
“The Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technology Group will play a pivotal role in detecting and analyzing key trends impacting our markets as well as evaluating high potential new business opportunities that leverage and extend our competitive position. The group will serve as a key resource to the company by helping develop the insights and strategies that are critical to creating shareholder value,” said Staggs.
The newly constituted group will work in close collaboration with the company’s business units, where many planning responsibilities will now reside. “The company is taking a more nimble approach to strategic and business development at the divisional level and providing greater authority, responsibility, and accountability for our business executives,” he added.
“Kevin Mayer is an accomplished media and entertainment professional and brings an ideal skill-set and experience base to this new role. He and the new Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technology Group will play an important part in enabling Disney’s future growth,” Staggs said.
“We also are delighted that Marty Yudkovitz has agreed to join Disney. In Marty, we have added a seasoned and successful business development and operational executive to our team. He knows our existing businesses well and has a deep understanding of technology and trends that are impacting our industry and the new business opportunities we face,” Staggs added.
Kevin Mayer Rejoins Disney After A Number of Successful Years in New and Established Media Strategy and Operations
Mayer, who will report to Staggs, rejoins Disney from L.E.K. Consulting LLC, where he was a partner and head of the Global Media and Entertainment practice. In that position his responsibilities included global oversight of all media-related due diligence efforts for mergers and acquisitions, development of business strategies for new technology ventures such as portable music devices, online music services, video on demand and broadband ISP services, and the creation of comprehensive anti-piracy strategies for motion picture studios and trade associations. He also devised plans for companies to offer electronic sell-through for movies, cable television networks, television programming and music.
Prior to L.E.K., Mayer held leading positions at interactive and Internet businesses. As chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Interactive he managed all aspects of new media business, including content, sales, business and technology development, and distribution. While at Clear Channel, Mayer successfully launched local subscription ticketing services. He also served as president and CEO of Playboy.com, Inc. where he established the overall strategy and financial plans for the interactive business.
While at Disney, Mayer worked in both strategic planning and at Walt Disney Internet Group. At the Internet group, he served as executive vice president and as such was responsible for the operations, business plans, creative direction and distribution of Disney’s popular Web sites, including ESPN.com and ABCNews.com. 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.
Mayer received his M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1990, and holds a B.S.E.E. from San Diego State University and a B.S.M.E. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Marty Yudkovitz Brings Substantial Business Development and Digital Media Expertise
Most recently, Yudkovitz was president of Tivo, Inc. and led the company’s transformation from a hardware and software supplier to a more fully integrated media company. He led the creation of Tivo’s cable distribution relationship with Comcast and established Tivo in the Enhanced Advertising business, along with substantially increasing revenues, subscribers and other strategic media and distribution relationships. As a 20-year management veteran of NBC, Yudkovitz rose to head of NBC Business Development, executive vice president of NBC and president of NBC Digital Media. Working in virtually every area of the company, Yudkovitz was the primary architect of the deals that created MSNBC, helped developed and launch CNBC and founded NBC Digital Media.
Before NBC, Yudkovitz was an Associate in the New York law firm Kelley Drye and Warren. He received his B.A. from Rutgers University in 1976 and his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1979.