Disney digital chief Wadsworth resigns
Walt Disney Interactive Media group president Steve Wadsworth announced his resignation from the entertainment giant. In a late night email sent to his staff and reprinted by The New York Times, Wadsworth writes "I have been thinking about this for quite some time, and 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." Wadsworth joined Disney in 1993 and assumed oversight of its digital efforts six years later--in the decade to follow, he also added supervision of the company's mobile and gaming initiatives to his duties. Wadsworth's exit is the latest in a series of high-profile Disney exec departures--according to the company's recent Q3 earnings report, Disney Interactive Media Group posted a quarterly operating loss of $65 million.
Insiders say Disney is likely to replace Wadsworth with executive vice president John Pleasants, who previously served as CEO of social gaming phenom Playdom, which Disney acquired for $763 million in July 2010. Disney said the Playdom purchase will advance its efforts to expand its stories, characters and brands across new platforms favored by the next generation of consumers: Playdom engages an estimated 42 million active gamers each month and ranks as the third-largest social game provider on Facebook. Its portfolio also includes free iPhone titles like Social City, Sorority Life and Mobsters: Big Apple.
For more on the Wadsworth resignation:
- read this New York Times article
Disney acquires social gaming upstart Playdom for $763 million
Disney acquires iPhone game hitmaker Tapulous
Disney's Toy Story 3 iPhone app tops 1.7 million downloads in first month
Disney pins digital media hopes on Apple's iPad