NBC Universal Hires Longtime Disney Games Executive Chris Heatherly9 Sep, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Looking to establish a foothold in the burgeoning online gaming market, NBC Universal Brand Development named industry veteran Chris Heatherly EVP of worldwide games and digital platforms, effective Sept. 30.
“With more than 20 years of experience in the consumer technology and games industry, Chris has an impressive history of expanding entertainment franchises into new interactive experiences and on to emerging digital platforms,” Vince Klaseus, president of NBC Universal Brand Development, said in a statement. “As the new worldwide leader of our games and digital platforms team, he will drive strategic initiatives to broaden our games development and grow NBC Universal’s properties across digital platforms and emerging technologies.”
Heatherly most recently has been SVP and GM for Disney Mobile Games, where he was responsible for strategy and operations of five internal studios, which produced titles such as Where's My Water, Club Penguin, Star Wars Commander and Marvel Avengers Alliance, among others.
In addition, he occupied several executive positions within Disney Consumer Products, where he oversaw product innovation, holding 46 patents, and expanded key relationships with global partners such as Mattel, Lego, Hasbro, Hallmark and Crayola.
In the most recent fiscal period, however, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media saw operating income decline 7% to $324 million on a 1% dip in revenue to $1.1 billion. In May, Disney shuttered game developer Disney Infinity, which included reported layoffs of 300 people.