Agnes Chu, a 12-year Disney veteran, is leaving as senior VP of content for Disney Plus to join Condé Nast as head of the media and publishing company’s entertainment division.
Chu will start as president of Condé Nast Entertainment in September 2020, reporting to Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch. There’s no immediate word on a replacement at Disney for Chu, who will work with Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing for Disney Plus, on a transition plan over the next month.
With Chu’s appointment, current CNE president Oren Katzeff is moving into a new role at the company, according to a Condé Nast spokesperson, who did not have details on what Katzeff’s new role is. Katzeff, who joined the company in November 2018, came under fire last month after allegations of racial discrimination in Condé Nast’s video department.
As head of Condé Nast Entertainment, Chu will oversee the digital video, TV and film division and the expansion of its dedicated brand studios for the New Yorker, Wired, GQ, Vogue and Vanity Fair.
“Agnes is a rare creative executive that can harness both vision and operational expertise to produce culture-defining content and audience experiences,” Lynch said in announcing her hire.
Referring to Disney Plus, Lynch added, “Her leadership was instrumental to the success of one of the largest media launches in the last decade and we are thrilled for her to join us and help drive the continued growth of our brands and audience through the power of video storytelling.”
As SVP of content for Disney Plus, Chu oversaw the streaming service’s slate of premium feature, scripted, unscripted and animated originals. Disney Plus earlier this week garnered 19 Emmy nominations — including 15 for “The Mandalorian” alone. Chu worked with the Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and National Geographic in developing Disney Plus’ content lineup.
“Storytelling has the ability to move people, provoke conversation, and indelibly impact our culture on a global scale, which creates a responsibility that is particularly pivotal today,” Chu said in a statement. “The premium brands of Condé Nast have always inspired me, allowing me access to new vantage points and a vision of what is possible. I’m excited to work with Roger, the editors, and the great teams to continue building on the company’s incredible legacy, and expanding its remarkable content across all platforms.”
Chu first joined Disney in 2008 and has held a variety of roles for the company, including at Walt Disney Imagineering and as VP of the office of the CEO for former Disney chief Bob Iger. She started at Disney/ABC Television Group in digital short-form development and production, rising to current and daytime programming at ABC Entertainment.
Earlier in her career, Chu worked in documentary production, with credits including “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” and “The Blues,” a seven-film series on PBS, with directors Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Alex Gibney.
Chu earned a bachelor’s degree in art, film and visual studies from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.