Art and culture

Disney Ad Sales Executive Lisa Valentino Exits Amid Restructuring

Lisa Valentino, a senior executive at Disney Advertising Sales who had in the past been tasked with several of the unit’s digital initiatives, has left the company, according to people familiar with the matter, even as Disney is in the midst of its “upfront” talks with advertisers.

Valentino had been working her second stint at Disney, most recently as executive vice president of category sales and client solutions. In the recent past, she had touted some of Disney’s most critical new ad-tech to clients. These included some of the company’s efforts to find new methodologies of tabulating audiences and helping advertisers to reach those crowds with more precision with so-called “addressable” formats.

Valentino declined to comment.

She departed as the result of a planned re-alignment of the advertising sales staff, according to one of the people familiar with the situation. “Any employee impacted by a reorganization that has access to confidential information would be required to exit,” Disney Advertising said in a statement provided to Variety.

Valentino returned to Disney in 2019. She had been working as an executive vice president at Univision and as a chief revenue officer at Conde Nast, the publisher of titles including Vogue and The New Yorker. During her previous stint at Disney, Valentino was a senior ad-sales executive at ESPN.

It is unusual to re-align advertising sales executives at this point in the industry calendar. During the “upfront,” a sales market that usually lasts from May through at least mid-summer, TV networks try to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory for their next cycle of programming.

Still, such a move is not entirely unheard of. NBCUniversal last year had to grapple with the abrupt exit of Linda Yaccarino, the the head of its ad-sales unit, when she left to take on the chief executive role at Twitter, the social-media platform now known as X. NBCU installed Mark Marshall, then a president of ad sales, as an interim head of the sales organization, before giving him the full role.

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  • Source of information and images “variety

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