"Jack Dorsey is a talented entrepreneur who has helped create groundbreaking new businesses in the social media and commerce spaces," said Robert A. Iger, Disney's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement today. Iger explained that Dorsey's forward-thinking perspective will prove "extremely valuable" given the company's priorities, which include utilizing the latest technologies and platforms to expand the company's reach. Dorsey, for his part, called Disney a "timeless company" he was honored to join.
The addition of Dorsey to Disney's board is an interesting one. His first successful brainchild, Twitter, is trading at nearly $65 a share, up 43% since its successful IPO in November. That company arguably altered the way 230 million-plus active monthly users communicate and consume information via pithy, real-time updates. Meanwhile, Dorsey's other venture, the credit card-processing Square, continues to rapidly grow, with a reported projection of nearly $1 billion in revenues next year. It is reportedly eying an IPO in 2014, as well.
"He certainly has what it takes to innovate," says James MacQuivey, vice president and analyst for Forrester Research He explains Disney's appointment makes sense given Dorsey's role in two high-profile businesses that are 100-percent digital.
Which could be exactly what Disney needs. Although the company has long since diversified from its humble origins as a short film production company in 1923 and transformed into a $128 billion media and entertainment company with five segments -- Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive -- folks like Iger obviously believe having the inventiveness of tech visionaries like Dorsey should strengthen the company and its bottom line further.
Dorsey is replacing former Cisco (CSCO) exec Judith Estrin, who is leaving because she reached the 15-year term limit for the Disney board. His appointment also aligns Dorsey with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who was named to the Disney board in December, 2009.
Still, MacQuivey understandably remains cautious on whether Dorsey will effect much change. Says MacQuivey: "It all depends on whether Disney will be open their minds up to his influence."
After the announcement came out earlier today, Dorsey tweeted a picture of an early Mickey Mouse sketch and a quote from Walt Disney: "I only hope we don't lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse."
The media companies that are selling Hulu aren't bargaining over price so much as what kind of deals they can get from the new owners.
FORTUNE -- Now that all the bids are in for Hulu, the question is: What will become of the service? And the answer is: Nobody knows for sure, but it's possible that the Hulu as we know it will disappear, or at least be diminished from MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Jul 10, 2013 6:40 AM ET
Mass-market tastes are changing at a rapid clip.
By Brian Dumaine, senior editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- At today's town hall meeting at Fortune's Global Forum in Chengdu, China, leaders of some of the world's largest corporations engaged in a lively debate over the shape of China's changing culture. Mass-market tastes -- especially among China's younger generation -- are changing fast as urbanization, technology, and travel remake consumer experiences and demands. The panelists discussed what MOREJun 6, 2013 6:50 AM ET
Bollywood pioneer Ronnie Screwvala is Disney's point man in India.
By Kurt Wagner, reporter
FORTUNE -- Ronnie Screwvala believes in India. As a self-made entrepreneur, Screwvala turned his small cable television company, UTV, into a multimedia conglomerate worthy of Disney's (DIS) attention. (Disney fully purchased the company for an undisclosed amount in 2012, and Screwvala is the managing director of the joint entity in India.) The key to Screwvala's success: capitalizing MOREMay 28, 2013 9:54 AM ET
Also: the iPad Mini reviewed; is Wikipedia tapped out?
The iPad Mini [DARING FIREBALL]
"Wow, it feels like a Kindle."
"Ew, the screen is terrible."
That was my wife's initial reaction when I handed her the iPad Mini to see what she, an avid daily user of an iPad 3, thought. Her initial reaction matched mine exactly, and perfectly encapsulates the experience. The iPad Mini is not a device you need to spend a MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Oct 31, 2012 5:30 AM ET
The streaming TV service works. Consumers love it. And CEO Jason Kilar is a star. The networks that own it should be trumpeting their success. Instead, Hulu risks stalling.
By Janet Morrissey, contributor
FORTUNE -- Hulu is killing it.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. Since Hulu first helped broadcast programming escape the prison of the TV set five years ago, the Los Angeles-based venture has been on a tear. In fact, it's managed MOREAug 20, 2012 5:00 AM ET
FORTUNE -- When Disney released its new Muppets movie, the studio made use of a different kind of focus group to predict box office sales: the Twittersphere. Big movie studios are increasingly tapping into hundreds of thousands of tweets to plot their marketing strategies, deciding which trailers and ad campaigns work, and even whom they should cast in their next films. Disney (DIS) gets its social media data from a MOREFeb 29, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Instead of cutting its losses on ABC by exploring a spinoff of the dragging network, Disney is reportedly doubling down in a deal with Univision. None of it makes sense.
By Cyrus Sanati, contributor
FORTUNE -- Is it time for Disney to finally banish ABC from the Magic Kingdom? The media conglomerate's broadcast division was yet again the only real bruise in what would have been a relatively blemish-free quarter. ABC's anemic growth rate, coupled MOREFeb 8, 2012 10:51 AM ET
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