Leslie Ferraro named president of Disney Consumer Products

16-year Disney veteran Leslie Ferraro succeeds Bob Chapek as president of Disney Consumer Products

Walt Disney Co. has named Leslie Ferraro president of its consumer products division, the Burbank company said Thursday afternoon.

Ferraro, a 16-year Disney veteran, most recently served as executive vice president of global marketing, sales and travel operations for the company's parks and resorts unit.

Her elevation is the latest in a string of executive appointments at Disney since Thomas Staggs, the former head of the parks and resorts division, was named chief operating officer in February.  

Ferraro succeeds Bob Chapek, who was named chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in February.

Ferraro reports to Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger and Staggs.

“Leslie is a highly talented, proven executive with a strong track record of creativity and innovation,” Iger said in a statement. “Having managed worldwide marketing and sales for one of our largest businesses, she brings a global perspective and deep knowledge of the company and its brands to her new position.”

Disney's consumer products division turned in a strong performance in the company's most recent fiscal quarter, which ended March 28. The unit posted operating income of $362 million, compared with $274 million a year earlier. Revenue was up 10% to $971 billion.

The company partly attributed the improvement to an increase in the licensing of merchandise from its blockbuster animated movie "Frozen," which was released in November 2013 and grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

“I look forward to leading this dynamic business and our incredibly talented team as we continue to launch new products and retail experiences that combine technological innovation and creativity,” Ferraro said in a statement.   

Ferraro began her Disney tenure in 1999, joining the company as director of marketing for theme parks and resorts.

Ferraro's appointment is effective immediately. 

Staggs said in a statement that Ferraro has "a deep understanding of our brands and franchises, as well as a solid vision for how they fit into the global consumer marketplace."

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