Disney Shakes Up Digital Sales Leadership

Disney is shaking up its digital sales leadership, as the company brings in industry veteran Dave Dickman to serve as its new svp, Disney Online Media Sales and Marketing.

Dickman was most recently svp of sales for Warner Bros. Digital Media, where he oversaw properties such as TMZ, TheWb.com and KidsWb.com. The industry veteran has previously logged stints at Yahoo, where he was head of sales for the company’s Western region, Turner and Time Warner.

At one point Dickman also co-managed his own consulting firm, Dickman & Jones. His new role at Disney will actually mark his third stint with the company; in the mid-2000s, Dickman logged time at Disney’s Mumbai, India, and Sydney, Australia, offices and also worked at the Disney Channel in the 1990s.

As a result of Dickman’s hiring, Brad Davis, current svp, Disney Online Media Sales and Marketing, is leaving the company, said officials. Davis had been at Disney since 2005, when he was brought on by former Disney Online head Ken Goldstein, who left the company the following year.

In his new role, Dickman will oversee sales for Disney’s core Web properties, which include the flagship Disney.com, DisneyFamily.com, Kaboose.com, BabyZone.com and others (though not Disney’s online gaming properties, which are managed separately).

Dickman’s appointment is the latest in a series of changes within Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG). Last fall, former DIMG chief Steve Wadsworth departed and was essentially replaced by co-presidents Jimmy Pitaro, former head of Yahoo’s  media group, and John Pleasants, the ex-CEO of Playdom—which Disney acquired last summer. Then in December, Paul Yanover, former evp and managing director of Disney Online, also left.

During the Yanover/Davis era, Disney implemented a major relaunch of Disney.com in 2007, centered on establishing it as a social networking and video-sharing destination for kids (the previous version had been more of a directory). Yet during a recent Disney investor conference, Pitaro intimated that Disney.com was due for another overhaul.

“Simply stated, kids and adults want different things [online], as do boys and girls, as do preschoolers and tweens,” said Pitaro. “We’ve been serving the same experience to all of our customers. Going forward, we’ll develop personalized experiences to each of our consumers where we to deliver the right content to the right user at the right time.”

Presumably, whatever form the new Disney.com takes will be a major focus of Dickman’s sale efforts.