Disney Interactive co-president John Pleasants has tendered his resignation, citing the untenability of twin leadership.
Pleasants’s resignation is effective as of Monday, leaving colleague Jimmy Pintaro as the sole president.
Speaking to The New York Times, Pleasants outlined the business concerns which drove him to the decision, but confessed his reluctance.
“It was a collaborative decision to do what’s right for the business at a time when we have clear momentum. It’s complicated to have co-presidents. It doesn’t seem to make sense as a long-term strategy,” he said.
“I will tell you that it’s a bit of a mixed thing for me. I would have also been happy to stay on. I would be misleading you if I said I wanted to leave.”
One-time EA COO Pleasants will stay on at Disney as a consultant. He assumed the joint leadership in 2010, coming on board with Playdom, of which he had been CEO, and which Disney acquired in a massively expensive buy out.
In the interim, Disney Interactive had a couple of very bad years – as many publishers did during the last lengthy console cycle – and Pleasants and Pintaro had vowed to restore the label to profitability in 2013.
The publisher issued significant job cuts and closures, pulling out of triple-A console games to focus on mobile and social, before coming back with Disney Infinity, on which it is believed to have gambled significant resources. Although Disney interactive lost $78 million last year, it’s come a long way since the co-presidents took over, and turned a profit of $16 million in Q4.
“Following three years of consistent operating improvement at Disney Interactive and a great partnership between John and Jimmy, we are now in a position to fulfill our original objective to consolidate our interactive business under one Los Angeles-based leader. I thank John for his many contributions,” Disney CEO Robert A. Iger said.
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