Disney Elevates Sonia Coleman To Chief Human Resources Officer, Succeeding Paul Richardson

Disney is promoting HR exec Sonia Coleman to Senior EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, effective April 8 and reporting to CEO Bob Iger.

Coleman, who most recently led HR for Disney Entertainment and ESPN, succeeds Paul Richardson, who is leaving the company after more than 15 years.

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In the top HR job, she’ll lead Disney’s human resources’ strategy, global talent acquisition, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, organizational design and cultural development, employee education and development, compensation and benefits, HR operations and technology and global security.

Coleman joined Disney in 2008 as VP, Human Resources, Disney Consumer Products, a role she held for eight years. At Disney Entertainment, she oversaw the HR function across ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC owned televisions stations, Disney-branded television, Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation, Walt Disney Television Alternative), Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective.

“Sonia is widely respected across the company as a gifted leader and strong advocate for our employees,” Iger said. “Her proven expertise leading the human resources function for our general entertainment businesses and ESPN during a period of unprecedented transformation makes her the perfect choice to lead this function company-wide as we implement our new operating structure and position Disney to capitalize on the opportunities ahead.”

Iger thanked Richardson for his years of service and contributions to numerous initiatives including Disney’s Heroes Work Here veterans hiring program.

“It is truly an honor to be named to this role, and I am grateful for the confidence that Bob has placed in me,” Coleman said. “Disney is unrivaled because of the talent, dedication, and enthusiasm of our cast members and employees. They are the key to our success, and I look forward to being their greatest champion…as we move forward through the important company-wide transformation underway that will truly empower the people behind the magic of Disney.”

Disney has been in major restructuring mode since Iger returned to the helm in November. Last month, it announced plans to cut 7,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in costs.

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