Disney hires Cindy Davis, John Frelinghuysen for newly created exec roles

Disney-ABC Television Group said Tuesday it has tapped Wal-Mart executive Cindy Davis and AOL alum John Frelinghuysen as senior executives for newly created roles at the company.

Davis, who will serve as executive vice president of consumer experience, will be responsible for “helping improve research capabilities across multiple platforms and enhance consumer insights and analytic capabilities,” the company said in a statement.

Frelinghuysen, who will serve as executive vice president of digital media, strategy and business development, will “oversee all aspects of strategy and business development across Disney-ABC Television’s portfolio of content and brands for digital content, products and technology,” the company said. He will also be in charge of all mobile-platform efforts.

“These two dynamic new leaders bring considerable talent and experience to Disney-ABC that will help drive our business forward and position us for even greater success,” Ben Sherwood, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group, said in the statement.


Davis’ primary responsibility, Sherwood said, will be to “significantly” expand the company’s “capability to understand our audience and help us use these new insights to improve the consumer experience on all platforms.”

Until coming to Disney, Davis served as Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of global customer insights and analytics since 2011.

She has also held executive roles at Sam’s Club, Rapp Collins Worldwide and YUM Brands Inc.

“Combining a deeper understanding of today’s viewers with its legacy of brilliant storytelling, Disney-ABC is poised to further engage consumers with the entertainment and news they want, when and where they want to enjoy it,” she said in the statement.


Sherwood said Frelinghuysen’s mission “is to define and execute plans to monetize both new and existing content.”

Frelinghuysen, an industry executive with more than 20 years of experience, comes from AOL, where he served as senior vice president and head of strategy. Since appointed to that position in 2013, Frelinghuysen helped develop a new AOL corporate strategy, Disney said. He also assisted in driving a video deal between AOL and NBCUniversal and led the structuring of AOL’s global advertising and ad technology partnership with Microsoft.

Before that, he was a partner at the management consulting firm Bain & Company.

“There is an unprecedented opportunity for creating new content experiences and driving revenue growth in digital video,” Frelinghuysen said in the statement.


For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h