Disney Interactive co-chairman John Pleasants has stepped down, according to the company. He had been running Disney's game and online operations jointly with Jimmy Pitaro, who remains as president.
Pleasants was widely viewed as the video game leader in the organization, which recently scored a much-needed hit with Disney Infinity, and announced improved financial figures. He joined Disney in 2010 when the company bought mobile-social games network Playdom, where he was CEO. Prior to that, he was COO at Electronic Arts.
In an interview with the New York Times, Pleasants said his departure was a "collaborative decision," adding that running a company with two co-presidents "doesn't seem to make sense as a long-term strategy." Pleasants had been based in gaming's Bay Area heartland while Pitaro, who focused on the company's online sectors like Disney.com, works from Disney's traditional home in Los Angeles.
"I will tell you that [leaving] is a bit of a mixed thing for me," said Pleasants. "I would have also been happy to stay on. I would be misleading you if I said I wanted to leave."
"Following three years of consistent operating improvement at Disney Interactive and a great partnership between John and Jimmy, we are now in a position to fulfill our original objective to consolidate our Interactive business under one Los Angeles-based leader," said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. "With Jimmy and John's input, we have created an Interactive organization that is best structured to meet the demands of the fast-moving technology industry."