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Disney Interactive boss walks

By Alec Meer

Fri 24 Sep 2010 8:08am GMT / 4:08am EDT / 1:08am PDT

Playdom CEO suggested as Steve Wadsworth's possible successor

Steve Wadsworth, president of Disney Interactive Media Group, yesterday announced his departure from the role. Wadsworth oversaw Disney's internet operations, including gaming.

His tenure has not been universally acclaimed, with the group reporting a loss of $65 million in its most recent quarter and Disney chief executive Bob Iger reportedly taking a more active role in the group.

Recent Disney entries into gaming have included a Pirates of the Carribean MMO and the acquisition of kids' virtual world Club Penguin. Warren Spector's Epic Mickey, perhaps the firm's most anticipated game in some years, is due this November.

Earlier this year, Disney acquired social gaming success story Playdom for $563 million (plus a $200 million earn-out).

The New York Times reports that sources close to the matter believe Playdom CEO John Pleasants, formerly of EA, is a leading candidate to become Wadsworth's replacement.

Said Wadsworth, "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've made at Disney Interactive Media Group, and am confident that the business is well-positioned for continued significant growth."

Added Disney president Bob Iger, "During his long tenure, Steve has transformed our Disney digital business in a rapidly changing landscape. He leaves with only our best wishes for continued success in whatever challenge he takes on next."

Wadsworth will remain on until a successor is found.

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