Disney Taps Studio Distribution President To Run Revamped Consumer Products

1:26 PM PST 09/09/2011 by Paul Bond

Robert Chapek will oversee a unit that will now include challenged areas like video games and DVDs.

Disney said Friday that Robert Chapek, the president of distribution for the film studio, has been promoted to president of consumer products, where he’ll preside over a revamped division and report to CEO Robert Iger.

The move means that studio president Alan Bergman will assume Chapek’s former responsibilities that included theatrical and TV platform distribution of Disney’s movies.

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Consumer products under Chapek will expand to include DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and video games, along with the usual toys, clothing and other items.

It wasn’t clear Friday, though, how the changes would impact the way Disney reports its quarterly finances, and the company did hot return requests for comment.

In the most recent quarter, the consumer products segment was a standout, with income up 32 percent on a 13 percent hike in revenue. Interactive media, though, which is where video games are accounted for, grew its losses by 32 percent. And home entertainment, part of the studio entertainment segment, has been dragged down by falling DVD sales.

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“As the retail market becomes more centralized, it is important to provide the consumer with an array of choice in a seamless, coordinated way,” Iger said Friday.

In its announcement of Chapek’s promotion, Disney called him a “visionary on technological issues,” and noted that he oversees new-media initiatives like in-home 3D and the still-developing Internet VOD service called KeyChest.

Disney announced Tuesday that its former head of consumer products, Andrew Mooney, was leaving the company to pursue a leadership role with another organization.

"Chapek will overse a newly formed companywide consumer products organization, which will consolidate retail and licensing across Disney's lines of business including Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Media Networks, Interactive Media and Consumer Products," Disney said in its announcement Friday.

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