Executive overseeing Disney Online to depart

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Paul Yanover, the executive who has overseen the sprawling portal and the entertainment giant’s other websites, is the latest casualty in the ongoing management shakeup at the Disney Interactive Media Group.

The executive vice president and managing director of Disney Online will leave in January, after 16 years spent over the course of two stints with the company. Yanover has been responsible for the company’s main portal, which serves as both an online billboard for Disney’s movie, television and music offerings -- like the just-opened film ‘Tron: Legacy’ -- as well as an entertainment destination where visitors can play the light-cycle game inspired by the movie. He also oversees the company’s family-targeted sites, including and


Yanover announced his departure Friday morning in an e-mail to staff.

‘I am so proud of the enormous accomplishments we have made together in such a short period of time -- it is hard to believe how much has happened in these past few years including a total re-launch of and the building out of our Mom’s network, to significant growth in business results -- we have made a huge impact,’ Yanover wrote.

Yanover is the most recent senior executive to be displaced by newly installed co-presidents John Pleasants and Jimmy Pitaro. The duo took over Disney Interactive in October from Steve Wadsworth, who exited in September after more than a decade running the division.

Late last month, the longtime head of the video game unit, Graham Hopper, was ousted on the eve of the launch of one of Disney’s most anticipated games of the year, ‘Epic Mickey.’

Before joining Disney online, Yanover was a senior vice president and general manager for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, and, before that, as senior vice president of the Buena Vista Game Entertainment Studio. He left Disney in 1999 to co-found Ceiva Logic Inc., a consumer electronics company that created one of the first Internet-connected digital picture frames. He rejoined Disney in 2002.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski