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Former Yahoo! Media Head James Pitaro Is Going to Disney World

Yahoo! vice president and head of media James Pitaro (pictured) is going to Disney World, joining Disney Interactive Media Group as co-president, along with John Pleasants, who will also continue as CEO of Playdom, a social-gaming company acquired by Disney earlier this year.

Pitaro will oversee the Disney Online group of Disney-branded Web sites and social-media outlets, while Pleasants will lead the media giant’s digital games businesses.

While at Yahoo!, Pitaro had been involved in expanding original video, branded entertainment, editorial content, and the use of data to enhance the consumer Web experience. He led the expansion of Yahoo! Sports prior to being elevated to head of Yahoo! Media. Prior to Yahoo!, he served as head of business affairs for online music site Launch Media and practiced law at several New York firms.

At Disney, Pitaro will be responsible for enhancing the consumer experience on Disney-branded Web and social-media sites, including Disney.com and Family.com, and he will oversee Disney’s social-media marketing agency, DigiSynd.

Pitaro and Pleasants are succeeding former DIMG president Steve Wadsworth.

Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger said:

Our rapidly growing Disney digital businesses will benefit greatly from the deep experience and distinct leadership skills shown by John and Jimmy. John has shown incredible agility and skill in helping companies achieve success in the ever-shifting digital-games business, while Jimmy has vast knowledge of the online world and has been hugely successful at creating and building audiences around branded online content. Both have outstanding track records in anticipating trends and delivering to consumers creative, innovative, and successful experiences and products. As co-presidents, I’m confident they will make Disney’s digital content and businesses even more robust and successful.

Pitaro added:

I’m honored to be joining the Disney family and energized to start working with the DIMG team. I’ve admired Disney for as long as I can remember and am looking forward to bringing my experience to the company and partnering with John to advance our online businesses.

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