Disney has appointed a media and entertainment executive to oversee the company's metaverse strategy. The announcement was made Tuesday in an internal email sent to staff by Disney CEO Bob Chapek and reported earlier by Reuters.
Mike White, who has 25 years of experience in technology leadership at Disney, has been named to the new role of senior vice president of Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences, Disney Communications VP Paul Melvin confirmed. The metaverse is often described as online spaces where people can socialize, work and play as avatars.
"For nearly 100 years, our company has defined and re-defined entertainment by leveraging technology to bring stories to life in deeper, more impactful ways," Chapek wrote in the email to staff. "Today, we have an opportunity to connect those universes and create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories."
This is the so-called metaverse, added Chapek, "which I believe is the next great storytelling frontier" and the place to pursue Disney's storytelling innovation efforts. In addition to overseeing Disney's metaverse efforts, White will also continue to lead the consumer experiences and platforms team in the company's media and entertainment distribution group.
Disney's appointment of a veteran executive to lead the company's metaverse strategy comes at a time when other big tech and media companies are trying to respond to the rise of the metaverse as the next phase in the evolution of the internet.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the acquisition of video game giant ActivisionBlizzard as part of its expansion into the metaverse. And last year, Facebook rebranded itself as Meta in a nod to its ambitions to become a prime player in the metaverse -- a move that wasn't well received by Wall Street, partly causing Meta's stock to drop more than 26% in early February.