Disney-ABC Hires Digital Duo

Disney|ABC Television Group said it has hired John Solaro and Roger Tsai in key roles that aim to support digital expansion at a division that includes ABC Studios, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, ABC, Disney Channels Worldwide, Freeform, and equity interests in A+E Networks and Hulu.

Solaro has joined as head of User Experience and Product Innovation for Digital Media. Solaro, most recently principal desing/UX director for Microsoft’s Xbox Design Studio, will lead a team integrating visual design, interaction design, motion design and innovation across Disney|ABC Television’s portfolio of multi-platform products. He will also play a bit role in driving a product roadmap for new non-linear, mobile, direct-to-consumer and cloud products, the company said.

Tsai was named VP digital strategy, business planning and operations for Digital Media, where he will head up a team focused on identifying, developing and helping execute new digital business strategies. Tsai joins Disney|ABC from Gracenote, where he led the company’s connected car strategy as well as its personalization efforts. Before Gracenote, Tsai was a  strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company

Solaro and Tsai report to John Frelinghuysen, EVP, digital media, strategy and business development, Disney|ABC Television.

“John and Roger bring tremendous business and technology expertise, deep understanding of the digital landscape and exceptional skills that will enable us to take our multi-platform businesses to the next level,” said Frelinghuysen, in a statement. “John is a proven leader and innovator whose products have won numerous design and product awards for leading-edge video gaming and video content experiences. We are looking forward to seeing his creative sensibility and extensive user experience knowledge help drive our next wave of innovations. Roger’s strategic skills finding new and exciting ways to connect people with their favorite entertainment experiences will help us best capitalize and grow Disney|ABC’s expansive product offerings.”

Solaro, who is named on 20 patents, graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Industrial Engineering.

Tsai attended the Kellogg School of Management (MBA) and Cal Berkeley (BS in Mechanical Engineering).