One of the co-presidents of Disney’s video game division resigned his position, effective immediately, despite the recent success of the Disney Infinity line of toy and game products.
John Pleasants will remain with the company as a consultant for a while, but the other co-president, James Pitaro, will now head the entire Disney Interactive division.
“It was a collaborative decision to do what’s right for the business at a time when we have clear momentum,” Pleasants told the New York Times.
“It’s complicated to have co-presidents. It doesn’t seem to make sense as a long-term strategy.”
This doesn’t mean that the decision to leave came entirely of Pleasant’s free will and accord, and he admits that he’d rather stay on.
“I will tell you that it’s a bit of a mixed thing for me,” he conceeded.
“I would have also been happy to stay on. I would be misleading you if I said I wanted to leave.”
Pleasants joined Disney in July 2010 when the company bought social game company Playdom. He had previously served as EA’s chief operating officer, and his legacy at Disney will include overseeing the launch of what is arguably the company’s biggest success in the industry: Disney Infinity.
Infinity is what finally tipped the balance and made the games and web division profitable more than three years after Pleasants and Pitaro took the joint leadership role.
“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,” said Disney chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger.
“I thank John for his many contributions.”