The Disney Channel has found itself with a post vacant for the post of global head of marketing following the surprise departure of John Rood.
Rood had held the role since 2016 and his departure comes at a pivotal juncture for the entertainment giant with the long-anticipated global rollout of its Disney+ streaming service in full swing.
First appointed to the role three-and-a-half years ago Rood has been a marketing heavyweight for the best part of 20 years, holding a variety of roles including SVP and head of Marketing, ABC Family from 2004-10 and executive vice-president at DC Entertainment at Warner Bros between 2010-14.
Rood’s departure is described as being precipitated by a desire to fulfil charitable work in Africa on behalf of his wife Cindee’s charity Formidable Joy, leaving Disney on the hunt to locate a suitable replacement
In a company-wide memo Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, explained: “For all of us who know John, we know that helping others is his true pathway to purpose, meaning and happiness—all of the things that people look for in life but are so hard to find. So I have deep respect for his immediate plan, which is to devote time to his family’s philanthropic passion of providing access to clean water in Malawi, Africa.
“I also know he has not come close to exhausting his appetite for leading great marketing programs and teams — so while he leaves us to pursue admirable ventures around the world, I’m certain his next chapter will include new marketing ventures back here in Los Angeles.”
Confirming his change in direction Rood wrote: “I am looking forward to devoting more time and energy towards charitable good works in addition to exploring other ways to innovate in the fast-changing media business. I have much gratitude to Gary for the opportunity, and such confidence in and admiration for the Disney Channel Marketing department.”
Disney is in the midst of an ambitious streaming revolution as the firm sets its sights on bringing in 28.6 million subscribers from Europe and India alone through its nascent Disney+ service. This follows on from the amalgamation of 21st Century Fox properties in a $73.1bn mega-deal.