Disney has created a new “chief brand officer” role to oversee Disney’s brand across “the entire ecosystem of company touchpoints and consumer experiences,” the company announced on Thursday. Asad Ayaz, the company’s president of marketing for The Walt Disney Studios, will be taking the post and report directly to recently returned CEO Bob Iger.
As part of his chief brand officer duties, Ayaz will make marketing campaigns “leveraging and synthesizing the company’s full suite of content and consumer experiences,” set “corporate synergy” and “franchise priorities” with Iger, and “lead a global consumer research and analytics function focused on Disney’s brands,” according to the press release.
The new role could help Disney wrangle how its sprawling empire of franchises shows up across movies, Disney Plus content, the company’s theme parks, and more. Ayaz does have some experience with a large remit — he has led and will continue to lead marketing for Disney’s studios — so this role seems like it might be a logical step up.
Ayaz’s elevation may also be a test to see whether he could be the company’s next CEO. When Disney announced Iger’s return in November, it said Iger would serve as CEO for two years and that he would work with the board of directors to find a successor.
The creation of chief brand officer is just one of many big changes Iger has made since coming back to Disney. The company has already started the first of three rounds of layoffs (which included eliminating its metaverse division and laying off Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter) as it looks to cut $5.5 billion in costs. On Wednesday, Variety reported that the company shifted former Hulu president Joe Earley to be president of direct-to-consumer Disney Entertainment, where he’ll head up Disney Plus and Hulu.