The Walt Disney Company is getting serious about its metaverse strategy. On 15 February, a memo viewed by several media outlets revealed that Mike White, currently head of the consumer experiences and platforms division at Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, will now be in charge of "next generation storytelling and consumer experiences".
In the memo, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that White will be responsible for establishing Disney's overall vision and strategy for moving its storytelling strategy into the metaverse - presenting its stories in the augmented or virtual reality medium. White will head a multi-disciplinary task force including senior leaders from across the company, and he is expected to "quickly assemble a structure and put in place processes to prioritize and allocate resources, explore partnerships, and facilitate knowledge sharing."
White has been with Disney for slightly over a decade, specialising in interactive media and technology and innovation. His background is heavy on tech, with 25 years of technology leadership experience: he first joined the company as CTO of Disney Interactive. Before that, he was CTO and CIO of the Apollo Education Group, and previously also spent a decade at Yahoo! Inc, working in the engineering and technology divisions.
Disney had previously indicated its interest in moving to the metaverse medium, but this is the first firm indication that it is developing a serious strategy for leveraging its huge repository of copyrighted franchises.