Disney Appoints Mike White to Lead Metaverse Strategy – The Hollywood Reporter

Walt Disney has appointed Mike White to lead the studio’s metaverse strategy.

White becomes senior vice president of next-gen storytelling change, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced in an internal memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

“Today we have the opportunity to connect these universes and create a whole new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories,” Chapek said in the internal memo.

White is being promoted from his role as senior vice president of consumer experiences and platforms at Disney and tasked with deepening the studio into the metaverse, which as it evolves is expected to take advantage of web technology. 3.0 to support large-scale, real-life, real-time 3D rendering simulations.

In its own bet on the metaverse, Facebook has rebranded itself as Meta as it focuses on virtual reality and other new storytelling technologies.

White, who joined Disney in 2011, three years later, was named senior vice president and chief technology officer for Disney’s consumer products and interactive media, with the goal of creating new consumer products and experiences. . Prior to that, he was Chief Technology Officer at Disney Interactive.

The full memo from CEO Bob Chapek follows:

Team,

For nearly 100 years, our company has defined and redefined entertainment by leveraging technology to bring stories to life in deeper, more impactful ways. Some of these innovations, like the first synchronization of sound and animation or the groundbreaking work of ILM and Pixar, come to life on screen. Others, like our audio-animatronics pioneer, come to life in the physical world. Today, we have the opportunity to connect these universes and create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories. It’s called the Metaverse, which I believe is the next great frontier in storytelling and the perfect place to pursue our strategic pillars of storytelling excellence, innovation and focus. on the audience. Teams across the company are exploring this new canvas, and I was blown away by what I saw.

To help connect these in-flight efforts, as well as the ongoing work to create a more unified Disney experience for consumers, I asked Mike White, who currently leads consumer experiences and platforms in our distribution group to media and entertainment, to take on a new role: Senior Vice President, Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences. Reflecting the importance of connecting the physical and digital worlds to this work, Mike will report to both Kareem Daniel and Josh D’Amaro. While the narrative that will define our presence in the metaverse will of course come from our creative teams, Mike will establish our overall vision and strategy for the consumer journey through these new narrative worlds. As part of this, Mike will quickly assemble a structure and put processes in place to prioritize and allocate resources, explore partnerships and facilitate knowledge sharing. Mike will also lead a working group that will include senior executives from key business disciplines, including technology, strategy and, of course, storytelling.

Mike brings 25 years of technology leadership experience to this role and a proven track record of innovating, pushing boundaries, and building meaningful partnerships. In addition to more than a decade in Silicon Valley, Mike has led product and technology teams across multiple business units here at Disney and has a history of transformation, especially when it comes to bridging the physical worlds. and digital. I couldn’t be more excited about Disney’s potential to once again set the bar for a new way of storytelling, and ask that you support Mike, his team, and the task force in their important work.

Bob