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Disney drops game exec in wake of  Disney Infinity  success
Disney drops game exec in wake of Disney Infinity success
November 11, 2013 | By Kris Graft

At Disney Interactive, there apparently were too many cooks in the kitchen.

Disney announced today that John Pleasants, co-president of the company's Disney Interactive video game division, would be resigning, effective immediately.

The departure comes right after a quarter that saw profits within Disney's game division, thanks to the success of the video game-toy crossover, Disney Infinity. The game has sold over 1 million starter packs globally, Disney said.

Pleasants previously was CEO of Playdom, the social game company that Disney acquired in August 2010 in an eye-popping $763 million deal that took place just before the social game space deflated. Prior to Playdom, Pleasants was COO of Electronic Arts.

Jimmy Pitaro, the co-president opposite Pleasants, will take the reins of the video game division on his own. Pleasants told The New York Times that while the decision was "collaborative," he "would have also been happy to stay on. I would be misleading you if I said I wanted to leave." He'll serve as a consultant as he transitions out of his role.

Disney chair Bob Iger said in a statement, "Following three years of consistent operating improvement at Disney Interactive and a great partnership between John and Jimmy, we are now in a position to fulfill our original objective to consolidate our interactive business under one Los Angeles-based leader."

In that statement, Iger credited Pleasants with helping establish "tentpole products like Disney Infinity and establishing the company as a leading mobile games publisher."

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Ron Dippold
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Iger: 'I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further.'

John Trauger
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I guess Disney Infinity was the other guy's project.

Kaze Kai
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I don't know much about business but why would you fire someone who helped make a successful product?

Ron Dippold
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Basically, they want the division run by one person instead of two, and they want that person to be based in Los Angeles (Mouse Central) instead of the Bay Area where Pleasants is. Having co-presidents or co-CEOs is really not a good idea for anything, so the idea makes some sense.

As for why they wouldn't keep him around, I'm guessing Pleasants didn't want to accept the demotion (VP of Mobile Frippery) that the alternative would have entailed.

Joe McGinn
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Did he help make it? JP's only accomplishment at DI that I'm aware of is shutting down all their game developers (except for Avalanche who made Infinity).

Curtiss Murphy
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What a weird press release. No idea what to make of it.