Steve Wadsworth Steps Down as Disney Interactive Chief

He becomes the latest executive to depart the Mouse House with a late-night memo this month, following ABC News chief David Westin

Steve Wadsworth, who headed Disney's interactive division for the last 11 years, announced his departure from the company in a late-night memo, the studio confirmed.

In his memo to Disney staff, Wadsworth said it was the "right time" for his departure, and that he intends to "pursue other opportunities."

Disney has yet to name a replacement. Wadsworth, who has overseen Disney's Internet group and its interactive gaming operations since their merger two years ago, will stay on through the transition.

Here's his memo to staff:

It is with mixed emotions that I announce my decision and plan to resign as the President of Disney Interactive Media Group and to leave the Walt Disney Company. I have, of course, been discussing this decision with Bob Iger, who has been extremely supportive of me and our business activity from the beginning, and he has been very gracious and supportive of me in this decision as well.

I have been thinking about this for quite some time, and while it is difficult to leave a great company, an exciting business and a wonderful group of people, my desire and excitement to pursue other opportunities is too great to ignore. There are a number of career adventures and new endeavors that I have been interested in exploring, but my commitment and focus have been here at Disney. While there is never a good time to leave a great role at a great company, for many reasons now is the right time for me to move on.

I am extremely proud of the huge progress we have made at Disney Interactive Media Group, and I am confident that the business is well positioned for continued significant growth.  Our recent re-organization and acquisitions have put in place all of the elements needed to build a large, high growth, profitable business across multiple interactive media categories. There remains much good work to be done, and there is great opportunity ahead, and I can leave with the knowledge that the business and the organization are on a great path.

Although I am announcing this now, I have committed to stay on in my role for as long as necessary for Bob to identify a successor and for a smooth transition.  Until then, I will be 100% focused on working with all of you to drive the continued momentum and growth of our business. 

I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at Disney for more than 17 years. I have many people to thank for making my experience here fantastic.  I thank Bob Iger for his leadership, guidance and friendship.  I thank my colleagues across the company for their support and partnership.  And I thank all of you at Disney Interactive Media Group for being part of an exciting and inspiring team.

— Steve