Disney game chief resigns

Co-president of Disney Interactive John Pleasants announces resignation after summer release of Disney Infinity.


Disney Infinity

John Pleasants, the co-president of Disney Interactive, announced his resignation today. The move is effective immediately, though he will stay on board as a consultant.

"It was a collaborative decision to do what's right for the business at a time when we have clear momentum," Pleasants told The New York Times from Walt Disney World. "It's complicated to have co-presidents. It doesn't seem to make sense as a long-term strategy."

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Pleasants' departure from Disney comes after the August release of Disney Infinity, the company's Skylanders-style toys-to-life game. Disney sold more than 1 million $75 Starter Packs during the game's first month-and-a-half, helping Disney Interactive turn a profit for the latest reporting period.

"I will tell you that it's a bit of a mixed thing for me. I would have also been happy to stay on. I would be misleading you if I said I wanted to leave," he added, noting he will stay on with Disney through January to help with with the transition.

Disney Interactive's other co-president Jimmy Pitaro will now lead the entire business unit. Pitaro and Pleasants joined Disney in 2010. Pitaro ran Disney.com and other online efforts, while Pleasants managed the company's core game segment, overseeing the release of Disney Infinity.

Pleasants previously served as CEO of Playdom, which Disney acquired in 2010 for $563 million. Before Playdom, Pleasants worked as president of publishing and COO of Electronic Arts. And before that, he was CEO of Ticketmaster. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School.

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