Paul Richardson has been named senior executive vice president and human resources officer of The Walt Disney Company, effective July 1, CEO Bob Chapek announced on Thursday.
Currently serving as senior vice president, human resources for ESPN, Richardson will succeed longtime veteran Jayne Parker, who announced she was leaving the company at the end of June after a 33-year career at Disney. Richardson also served as Disney’s first chief diversity officer.
In his new position, Richardson will report to Chapek and will lead Disney’s human resources strategy, global talent acquisition, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, organization design and cultural development, employee education and development, compensation and benefits, HR operations and technology, employee relations and global security.
“Paul Richardson is a supremely talented, strategic and personable leader with a deep passion for enriching the employee experience by championing the unique talents and perspectives of our diverse, global workforce,” Chapek said. “I can think of no one better suited than Paul to build on the incredible work of Jayne Parker, who in 12 years leading Disney’s Human Resources function has had an indelible impact on the company, fostering a culture that has attracted and developed the industry’s best creative talent and most accomplished business leaders.”
Richardson added: “It is a tremendous honor to be named to this role, and I want to thank Bob for the amazing opportunity and Jayne for her mentorship and friendship over these many years. Our employees and Cast Members are absolutely key to Disney’s success, and their exceptional talent, ingenuity, diverse backgrounds and experiences, and deep sense of commitment even in the most trying times are truly an inspiration. I look forward to supporting them and working with our HR leaders around the world as we advance the Company’s ambitious business goals and further cement Disney’s well-earned reputation as one of the most desirable places to work.”
Richardson has held his role at ESPN since 2007, where he supports 50 different business units and approximately 5,000 employees around the globe. While serving as a member of the ESPN Board of Directors and Executive Committee, he oversees ESPN’s Corporate Citizenship team, responsible for strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, and global security operations.
He also served as the first chief diversity officer for the company from 2011 to 2017, implementing global D&I strategies. Among his initiatives was Disney’s signature Heroes Work Here program, through which Disney employed 10,000 veterans, and its Veterans Institute workshops for employers who want to establish their own military hiring and development program. He also launchd the Global Workplace & Women’s Initiative as well as a growth initiative targeting U.S. Hispanics.
He began his career as an attorney before transition to human resources. Prior to joining ESPN, he served as executive vice president of global human resources at Universal McCann, as well as senior vice president, human resources for Paramount Pictures Corp., and vice president, human resources, at Bowen & Company. He also spent more than 10 years at The Times Mirror Company, the former parent company of the Los Angeles Times.