Playdom CEO John Pleasants Named Disney Interactive President

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By Chris Morrison Comment

Disney signaled over the weekend that it’s ready to make social games an important part of its online strategy, appointing Playdom CEO John Pleasants co-president of its interactive division along with former Yahoo vice president Jimmy Pitaro.

Only two months have passed since Disney acquired Playdom for $763 million, but Pleasants is being given an important role, with responsibility over Disney’s entire video gaming business, including console, online and now social elements. Pitaro, meanwhile, will oversee the non-game elements of Disney Interactive Studios.

Rather than taking over a stable, well-defined role, Pleasants will likely be expected to shake up the interactive business, which Bloomberg points out is Disney’s only money-losing division.

However, Pleasants also won’t be moving into a totally corporate position — he’ll instead stay at Playdom’s Mountain View headquarters, from which he’ll run that company as well as Club Penguin, Tapulous and other acquired companies.

In the social game market, most have been paying close attention to Disney since it picked up Playdom. Pleasant’s move up chain of command should serve as a signal of much more to come from Disney — although future moves likely won’t be confined to Facebook, as CEO Bob Iger suggested during Disney’s August earnings call. Exactly what that will mean remains to be seen.

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