Disney names ESPN’s LaBerge as CTO of direct-to-consumer division

Aaron LaBerge (ESPN/The Walt Disney Company)(ESPN/Disney)

Disney announced this week that ESPN’s Aaron LaBerge will be executive vice president and chief technology officer of the company’s international and direct-to-consumer unit.

As the first CTO for the recently formed Disney Direct-To-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment, LaBerge will be responsible for ongoing efforts such as ESPN+ and Hulu, as well as upcoming products including Disney’s branded streaming service due to launch in late 2019. He’ll report directly to division chairman Kevin Mayer.

“The Walt Disney Company has an incredible history of using technology to create magic, and I am thrilled to help carry that legacy forward. We are in the most dynamic and exciting period in the history of media and entertainment. How we dream up, create and utilize technology to power content, unleash creativity and drive business matters more than ever. DTCI will play a critical role in the Walt Disney Company continuing to thrive and win in this dynamic environment,” LaBerge said in a statement.

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The DTCI tech team is split into nine core teams: Business Platforms, Data Platforms, Information Security, Media Engineering, Media Services, Product Engineering, Product and Design, Technology Operations and Office of the CTO. The leadership team reporting to LaBerge will include Mike Andrews as senior vice president for product engineering, Michael Cupo as VP for the Office of the CTO, John Heerdt as SVP of media engineering, Chris Lawson as SVP of technology operations and Mike Napodano as SVP for business platforms. Disney said more leadership positions still need to be filled.

LaBerge will be working closely with Executive Vice President and CTO of Disney Streaming Services Joe Inzerillo, EVP and CTO Tilak Mandadi of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products and EVP Susan O’Day for Enterprise Technology and CIO.

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