After 16 years at Disney, Ferraro had risen to be an executive VP at the company’s parks and resorts unit, where she oversaw marketing, sales and travel operations.
The new job puts Ferraro in charge of a global operation that is massive and preparing for a large ramp-up this year with products from all of Disney’s lucrative labels — Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, with its latest “Star Wars” film, “The Force Awakens,” due at Christmas. The products range from toys and apparel to books and fine art, and Ferraro’s new post includes oversight of licensing, publishing and the Disney Store operations.
Ferraro takes over for Bob Chapek, who was recently shifted to the chairmanship of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. She will report directly to Iger and Staggs, who himself was once the executive in charge of the conglomerate’s parks and resorts.
“Leslie is a highly talented, proven executive with a strong track record of creativity and innovation,” Iger said. He complimented the “global perspective” and knowledge of the company’s brands she would bring to the job given her experience with the company’s parks and resorts.
She started at Disney in 1999 in a marketing job at the theme parks and resorts unit and has served in a variety of jobs related to marketing and new business. She also served on the Hong Kong Disneyland board of directors. She has a B.A. in economics and marketing from George Washington University, a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA in finance from NYU.
In the announcement, Ferraro touted Disney’s “unprecedented array of brands and franchises” and the company’s “incredibly talented team.”