Disney/ABC Television Group Digital Chief Albert Cheng to Depart

Courtesy LinkedIn

"After 15 years at The Walt Disney Company and much contemplation over the past 18 months, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to move on," Cheng said in an email to employees.

Albert Cheng, Disney/ABC Television Group's executive vice president and digital media chief product officer, is stepping down from his position, the exec announced on Friday.

"After 15 years at The Walt Disney Company and much contemplation over the past 18 months, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to move on," Cheng said in an email to employees.

Anne Sweeney asked Cheng to form the digital media group 10 years ago in an effort to "address new business and consumer opportunities that broadband and disruptive technologies presented," he wrote in the email.

"Several months ago, Albert expressed that he felt it was time for him to make a change, and while it's tough to see him go, I respect his decision. Over the past 15 years, Albert's contributions to Disney/ABC have been significant and far-reaching," Disney Media Networks co-chairman and Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood said in a statement. "Through the strategic and diligent work done by him and the talented digital media team, Disney/ABC has evolved itself from a traditional television business into a vibrant, fully integrated, future-focused company with a digital-first mindset and a reputation for smart and bold risk-taking. Albert's drive to innovate, his boundless energy and intelligence have made Disney/ABC a better place, and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

Cheng told employees in his "Mahalo" email that he will be in the office through the month of May to aid Sherman and the senior team in their transitional needs.

Read the full statement below.

To my colleagues and the Digital Media team:
 
After fifteen years at The Walt Disney Company and much contemplation over the past 18 months, I have come to the decision that it is time for me to move on.  
 
Ten years ago, Anne Sweeney asked me to form this Digital Media group to address new business and consumer opportunities that broadband and disruptive technologies presented.  Since the very beginning, we envisioned a world where television programs were delivered over the Internet on any device that could connect to it.  And through the years, we steadfastly architected a cloud-based video service capable of authenticating pay TV subscribers and powering dynamic and targeted ad delivery in both live and on-demand video.  
 
We delighted our viewers as industry pioneers, being the first company to:
 
·        stream its top-rated TV episodes online
·        stream in HD
·        offer on-demand episodes thru wireless carriers
·        deliver ad-supported episodes for the iPad launch
·        deliver live, local broadcast station linear feeds
 
Each of these industry milestones defined how consumers watch their favorite shows on all Internet-connected platforms.  We were streaming video before streaming became cool.  Even better, this group contributed significantly to our bottom line growth in partnership with our Distribution and Ad Sales teams.
 
The roadmap we outlined ten years ago is complete.   We have a solid foundation and have scaled our operations.  I’ve met all the personal goals I set out for myself.  As a company, we’ve achieved far more than I would have ever imagined.
 
This would not have been possible without Bob Iger and Anne's leadership.  They encouraged thoughtful risk-taking and placed a strong focus on creating value for our consumers.  I am so thankful to them for the opportunity to make an impact for our viewers and to play a role in defining the future of our industry.
 
While I will be here in the office through May to help Ben Sherwood and the senior team with any transition needs,  I wanted to take the time now to thank the entire Digital Media department  with whom none of these firsts could have been achieved.   It will be the personal moments I will miss most.  I have confidence that Disney ABC Television Group has the capabilities to tackle any product initiative in its digital future.  I can't wait to see what you will create next.
 
Also, many thanks to Ben Pyne for hiring me into Disney and shepherding me through my early years in Affiliate Sales; and to my many colleagues, whose mentorship and friendship have made navigating thru this market evolution a thrilling ride.  And finally, I’m very appreciative of Ben Sherwood’s leadership, guidance and support in the last few years, particularly for his understanding around this very personal decision of mine to do something completely new.
 
Again, I am still here for some time, so please drop a line or come by the office anytime.
 
Aloha nui loa,
 
Albert

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