Disney Taps Hugh Johnston as Senior Executive Vice President and CFO

Johnston comes from 34 years at PepsiCo where he most recently served as Vice Chairman and CFO

hugh-johnston
Disney CFO Hugh Johnston (Courtest of The Walt Disney Company)

Hugh Johnston will serve as senior executive vice president and chief financial officer for the Walt Disney Company, CEO Bob Iger announced Monday. Johnston comes from PepsiCo where he most recently served as vice chairman and CFO as part of a 34 year career with the beverage company.

Johnston replaces Christine McCarthy, who stepped down as Disney’s CFO in June to take family medical leave. She had been with the company for 23 years.

As Disney’s chief financial officer, Johnston will report directly to Iger and will lead the company’s worldwide finance organization, which includes corporate real estate, corporate strategy and business development, enterprise controllership, enterprise technology, financial planning and analysis, global product and labor standards, global security, investor relations, risk management, tax, and treasury.

“Hugh’s well-earned reputation as one of the best CFOs in America and his wealth of leadership experience in both financial and operational roles overseeing a diverse portfolio of top global brands make him a perfect addition to Disney’s senior leadership team,” Iger said in a statement. “His expertise will serve Disney and its shareholders well as we continue the transformative work we are doing to drive growth and value creation.”

Iger also expressed gratitude to Kevin Lansberry, who served as interim CFO after McCarthy stepped down.

“Disney is such a storied company, with the most beloved brands in the world and a strong financial foundation to support the company of the future that Bob and his team are building,” Johnston said. “Very few companies have withstood the test of time that Disney has, making the company as rare as it is special. I share Bob’s enthusiasm for Disney’s future, and I am incredibly excited to join this management team in this moment of opportunity and possibility.”

Johnston was named CFO of PepsiCo in 2010.

The news of Johnston’s hiring comes as Disney is due to report fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday.

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