Disney Director Quits Board, Will Join Obama Administration

John Bryson, an 11-year veteran, will announce his resignation.

John Bryson, one of 13 directors of the Walt Disney Co., will relinquish his board seat, a result of President Barack Obama's announcement Tuesday that Bryson is his pick to become secretary of commerce.

Bryson was a chairman and CEO of Southern California Edison when Disney appointed him to its board in 2000. He stepped down from Edison in 2008. He's also a senior advisor to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a venture capital and leveraged buyout firm with investments in BMG, Eastman Kodak, Primedia, Seven Media Group and TV measurement company Nielsen.

A Disney spokesperson declined to say whether Bryson will be replaced when he steps down.

"John has been an incredibly valuable member of our board, bringing experience and insight to complex issues," Disney president and CEO Robert Iger said. "He is a proven leader, with strong strategic vision and business savvy, along with a keen grasp of policy and its impact on the business environment. It's an ideal combination for a U.S. commerce secretary, one that bodes well for the country's long-term economic growth and competitiveness."

Bryson still must be confirmed by the Senate, though he's expected to step down from Disney's board before the process -- which could take several weeks -- is complete.

If confirmed, Bryson would replace Gary Locke, who is expected to become ambassador to China, an appointment vacated by Jon Huntsman, who is considering a run for the Republican nomination for president.