NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – July 6, 2005 – The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) today announced the appointment of three executives to its new Disney Mobile business that will create the first national U.S. wireless phone service specifically designed for families. George Grobar, a 10-year Disney veteran, will lead the venture as senior vice president and general manager of Disney Mobile. Rod Egdorf and Sunir Kochhar have joined the company as Disney Mobile vice president and chief marketing officer and vice president product development and operations respectively.
Heading up the business, Grobar is responsible for all major functions including operations, business development, sales and marketing and research and development. He reports to Steve Wadsworth, president, WDIG. Egdorf, who was previously with General Motors’ OnStar subsidiary, will oversee consumer marketing, distribution, and media and advertising strategies. Kochhar, who joins Disney from Iris Wireless, will lead product development and operations. Egdorf and Kochhar report to Grobar.
“We’re very pleased with the team we are building for Disney Mobile. George has very strong operations experience and with a long history in management at Disney and its Internet Group. He is ideal to lead and grow this new segment of our business,” said Steve Wadsworth, president, WDIG. “Rod and Sunir are true pros who bring us deep mobile industry expertise, which is clearly a tremendous asset to this new team.”
Previously, Grobar served as vice president and general manager, Disney Auctions, which is part of the Walt Disney Internet Group, and as vice president and general manager for the ESPN and NASCAR Online stores. Grobar began his tenure with The Walt Disney Company in 1995 at Disney Consumer Products, and later served as vice president and lead financial executive for Disney Direct, a multi-million dollar business encompassing The Disney Store Online and The Disney Catalog. Before joining Disney, Grobar spent nearly a decade in management positions in finance and product planning at Unisys Corp. He holds a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s of arts degree from Amherst College.
Egdorf is a 14-year veteran of the telecommunications and mobile industries with extensive experience in business and service launches. He previously served as vice president, wireless for General Motor’s Onstar, overseeing marketing and business development functions. Prior to that, Egdorf was the Los Angeles area vice president for Sprint PCS where he was responsible for the successful start-up and launch of this sales region. Egdorf’s additional industry experience includes serving as president of Citizen’s Telecom, a start-up long distance company in Connecticut, and as regional vice president, sales and marketing for McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc. He holds a master’s of business administration degree from Golden Gate University and a bachelor’s of science degree from Arizona State University.
Kochhar has more than 20 years experience in the mobile and telecommunications industries with expertise spanning from operations and customer relations to billing systems and partnership negotiations. He joins Disney from Iris Wireless, a developer of global messaging software solutions for wireless carriers, where he was chief operating officer. There he oversaw operations, as well as the company’s customer service, billing and data centers. Prior to that he was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Chase Telecommunications, a startup personal communications services (PCS) company. Kochhar also has held executive positions with AirTouch International, AT&T Wireless and Vanguard Cellular Systems. He holds a master’s of science degree in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and a bachelor’s of science degree from Birla Institute of Technology.
About Walt Disney Internet Group
Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) provides strategic leadership and operational management for The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) Internet properties including category leaders Disney.com, ESPN.com and ABCNEWS.com. A market leader in developing and distributing entertainment and informational content to new platforms, WDIG is committed to creating and delivering products for broadband distribution including: ABC News On Demand, a subscription video news service that offers the Internet’s first 24-hour, live Internet-only news channel and top ABC News programs for on demand viewing; Disney Connection; and WDIG Motion, a proprietary video technology for broadband users. Through relationships with some of the world’s largest wireless carriers, WDIG distributes content and services to wireless users under the Disney brand. Additionally, WDIG has led the way in developing interactive content for televised programming through its Enhanced TV service. Steve Wadsworth is president of WDIG, which is headquartered in North Hollywood and has operations in Seattle, New York, Orlando, Fla., Tokyo, Budapest and London.