Disney+ Names Alisa Bowen President

Alisa Bowen has been named president of Disney+, in a promotion for the exec who has overseen global business operations for Disney’s streaming platforms, including Disney+ since its launch in 2019.

Bowen most recently served as EVP of global business operations for Disney Streaming, overseeing global content and business operations for the company’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses: Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Star+. That included cross-functional leadership of the global Disney+ launch in 154 markets worldwide.

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Her appointment is effective immediately. Bowen will continue to report to Michael Paull, president of direct to consumer for Disney Media Entertainment & Distribution. Previously, Paull had been the exec directly in charge of Disney+.

In the role, Bowen will work closely with leaders across Disney to “drive continued focus on innovation,” the company said, including for the Dec. 8 launch of the Disney+ ad-supported tier in the U.S. as well as multichannel promotional support for Disney+ and its content slate. Regional leaders for Disney+ in Canada; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Asia Pacific; and Latin America will report jointly to Bowen and regional execs.

“Alisa has been an indispensable member of our leadership team since the inception of Disney+,” Paull said in announcing her promotion. “She possesses a rare and valuable combination of deep institutional knowledge, forward-thinking innovation and global vision rooted in a strong focus on our consumer, that is perfectly suited for this critical role, and I am confident that she will have an immediate and positive impact on the business.”

Bowen commented, “Disney+ is a phenomenal growth story and has delighted fans around the world at tremendous scale. We have a best-in-class team behind this success and I’m excited to partner with them in this new role, as we drive the next phase of Disney+ growth.”

Bowen has two decades of experience in product, technical and operational leadership roles at several media organizations. She joined Disney in 2017 as SVP, digital media and CTO of the company’s international operations where she led a transformation of Disney’s channel broadcast technology, content operations and digital publishing across EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Prior to Disney, Bowen served as CTO of News Corp Australia, where she was responsible for the digital transformation strategy, including the pivot to digital subscription business models and the launch of new digital advertising offerings. She has also held product, business operations, and general management leadership positions at media organizations including Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters. Bowen holds an MBA from the London Business School and a bachelor’s degree in public relations and journalism from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

For the three months ended July 2, Disney+ boasted a healthy 14.4 million net gain in subscribers — beating Wall Street forecasts — to reach 152.1 million. At the same time, the Mouse House’s flagship streamer continues to face intense competition for subscriber dollars in the streaming sector, including category leader Netflix.

Amid rising inflation, Disney has announced price increases coming in the fourth quarter of 2022 for Disney+ and Hulu, as well as a December launch for the ad-supported Disney+ tier.

Disney+ Basic, the name of the ad-supported plan, will launch first in the U.S. for $7.99/month on Dec. 8. That’s the price of the current ad-free version of Disney+, which at that time will bump up to $10.99/month, a 38% increase, and will be known as Disney+ Premium.

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