By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES Nov 11 Walt Disney Co said
on Monday it has consolidated the video games and online
businesses in its interactive unit and that co-President John
Pleasants has left his post to become a consultant for the
The group's other co-president, Jimmy Pitaro, will lead the
merged unit, Disney said in a statement.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger appointed the two men as
co-presidents in October 2010 to turn around the money-losing
The division reported a $16 million profit for the quarter
that ended in September, after losing $76 million a year ago,
partially on sales of its ambitious new Disney Infinity console
game. The company said it has sold more than 1 million Infinity
starter packs worldwide since the game was released in August.
The interactive unit is Disney's smallest, accounting for
less than 4 percent of revenue in the September quarter.
In a statement on Monday, Iger said the unit had recorded
"three years of consistent operating improvement" and was now
"in a position to fulfill our original objective to consolidate
our Interactive business under one Los Angeles-based leader."
Pleasants lives in San Francisco and had been commuting
frequently to Los Angeles. In an interview, Pleasants said he
wanted to stay in San Francisco and felt it was the right time
to leave the division under Pitaro's leadership.
"We did inherit a business that was losing $300 million a
year," Pleasants said. "We put up two profitable quarters. We
have a lot of momentum going into the holiday. We have very good
plans for the coming fiscal year."
Pleasants was formerly head of the social games maker
Playdom, which Disney acquired in 2010 for $563 million.
Disney shares slipped 0.3 percent to $68.39 in afternoon
trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.