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Walt Disney said Monday it has combined its two smallest divisions, consumer products and interactive, into a single unit jointly run by Leslie Ferraro and Jimmy Pitaro, who were each named co-chairs of what will be known as Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.
A few years ago, Disney’s Interactive unit was considered an under-performer and CEO Bob Iger was vowing to turn it around, though it has turned a profit for the past seven quarters in a row. In the first six months of the current fiscal year its revenue sunk 8 percent to $619 million but operating income increased 46 percent to $101 million.
Consumer products, meanwhile, showed a 17 percent increase in revenue in the most recent six months to $2.35 billion and its operating income was up 40 percent to $988 million.
Disney said it will report the combined businesses as one segment as of the beginning of fiscal 2016. As a combined unit, it will still likely be Disney’s smallest reporting division as determined by revenue, behind Media Networks, Parks and Resorts and Studio Entertainment.
Disney also said Monday that a new team called DCPI Labs will “focus on using cutting edge technologies to create new immersive products.” The new entity will report to Ferraro and Pitaro.
Also, Disney Publishing Worldwide, the conglomerate’s publisher of children’s books, will report to Ferraro and Pitaro.
“Both Disney Interactive and Disney Consumer Products have a strong track record of connecting people to their favorite stories and characters,” said Disney COO Tom Staggs. “As Technology and digital entertainment continue to evolve, a shared innovation strategy will enable this new segment to create unique and engaging products and experiences that exceed consumers’ expectations.”
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