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Disney Interactive President Resigns

Disney Interactive President Resigns

September 24, 2010 | By Simon Parkin

September 24, 2010 | By Simon Parkin
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Steve Wadsworth, president of Disney Interactive Media Group resigned yesterday, ending an 11-year tenure in the role as the overseer of titles including Disney Epic Mickey and Club Penguin.

DIMG has wide-ranging remit within Walt Disney Co., creating and marketing video games as well as providing technical support to other Disney operating units.

"For many reasons now is the right time for me to move on," Mr. Wadsworth said in an email to staff announcing his resignation. “While it is difficult to leave a great company, an exciting business and a wonderful group of people, my desire and excitement to pursue other opportunities is too great to ignore.”

“Our recent reorganization and acquisitions have put in place all of the elements needed to build a large, high growth, profitable business across multiple interactive media categories," he wrote.

"There remains much good work to be done, and there is great opportunity ahead, and I can leave with the knowledge that the business and the organization are on a great path.”

Wadsworth added that he is "confident that the business is well-positioned for continued significant growth."

During Wadsworth's stewardship of DIMG, the group has seen dramatic shifts in strategy with varied results. The launch of an interactive online simulation of Disneyland, Virtual Magic Kingdom, was soon followed by its closure while the acquisition of preteen social gaming network Club Penguin, and Facebook-game developer, Playdom have been more successful.

"During his long tenure, Steve has transformed our Disney digital business in a rapidly changing landscape," Walt Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said in a statement. A successor to Wadsworth's role is yet to be announced, although there has been widespread speculation that Playdom chief executive John Pleasants will assume a senior role.

During the quarter ended July 3, Disney Interactive's revenue grew 74 percent to $197 million, while its operating loss narrowed to $65 million from $75 million in the year-earlier period.


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