Ben Pyne, who had been with the Walt Disney Co. for 25 years, is stepping down from his post as president of Disney Media Distribution, the company announced.
No successor was named. Pyne will stay on through the summer to help with the transition.
The TV distribution world has gone through huge changes during Pyne's career. The Disney Channel grew from a small cable channel, growing its distribution from 6.5 million subscribers in 1992 to 100 million U.S. households currently, plus 500 million subscribers to 107 international Disney Channels that have launched in the past 20 years.
Pyne also built new relationships with ABC's broadcast affiliate and guided Disney's content into a multiplatform on demand world.
"Ben's reputation in our industry is second-to-none. What he's built here at Disney, and what he's been able to accomplish over the past 25 years, is truly remarkable. While we'll be sad to see him leave, we're excited to see what his next chapter holds," said Bruce Rosenblum, president of business operations at Disney-ABC.
Pyne will be the second senior Disney executive reporting to Rosenblum to leave the company this year. ABC ad sales president Geri Wang announced last year that she would leave the company in March. Together, Wang and Pyne generated a huge chunk of Disney-ABC's revenue.
Named president of global distribution at Disney Media Networks in 2007, Pyne worked with teams around the world and Walt Disney International to create an integrated distribution team known now as Disney Media Distribution. That effort resulted in tremendous growth of sales revenue related to Disney-ABC series across more than 240 territories and also saw the launch of a broad range of new distribution activities and branded services across broadcast, pay, digital and subscription video-on-demand platforms, including the growth of newer subscription video-on-demand services around the globe such as ABC Studios on Demand, Disney Movies on Demand and Hot from the U.S.
Pyne is a member of the board of directors of Hulu as a representative of Disney, which owns a stake in the streaming service.
"I am honored to have had such an amazing career at The Walt Disney Company, which has been rich with unique experiences and incredible accomplishments, and prepared me well for my next opportunity," said Pyne. "It has been a special privilege to help build and grow brands, networks and programming that touch and enrich the lives of viewers all around the world. Over the years, I've been fortunate to work with fantastic people both at Disney, across the wider industry, as well as around the world, and I would like to thank them all for their passion, commitment and hard work."
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