Asad Ayaz has been named the first-ever Chief Brand Officer of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), effective immediately, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer. In this newly created role reporting to Iger, Ayaz will be responsible for stewarding and elevating the Disney brand globally across the entire ecosystem of company touchpoints and consumer experiences. Ayaz will also continue as President of Marketing for The Walt Disney Studios, overseeing all aspects of marketing and publicity for the Studios’ films and series as well as for Disney+ globally, reporting to Disney Entertainment Co-Chairman Alan Bergman.
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Asad Ayaz (Photo: Business Wire)
“Asad is an exceptional creative leader with a deep understanding of what Disney means to millions of people around the world,” Iger said. “His taking on this role is particularly noteworthy and consequential as we commemorate our historic 100th anniversary, and I am confident that his strategic, operational, and creative prowess, along with his profound passion for Disney, will make him an outstanding steward of our stories, characters, brands, and franchises.”
As Chief Brand Officer, Ayaz will develop and execute holistic brand marketing campaigns leveraging and synthesizing the company’s full suite of content and consumer experiences, activate the brand internally and externally through partnerships, and provide guidance and alignment for the company’s digital and social media strategy and presence. He will set corporate synergy and franchise priorities in consultation with the CEO and lead a global consumer research and analytics function focused on Disney’s brands and franchises that will inform actionable cross-platform initiatives.
“Throughout both my early life and my time at the company, I’ve marveled at the power of Disney’s storytelling, experiences, and simply the name itself to inspire people and resonate through generations,” said Ayaz. “I am immensely grateful to Bob for entrusting me with this opportunity, and I’m excited to work with the amazing teams around our company to highlight all the things that make Disney exceptional and ensure that we continue to create those meaningful connections with audiences for many more generations to come.”
Among other cross-company brand initiatives, Ayaz will oversee the Disney100 campaign as the company celebrates its 100th year. He recently led the development and creation of the Disney100 Special Look spot that debuted in this year’s Super Bowl, as well as the Studios’ new 100-year logo refresh now appearing on all Disney-branded films.
As President of Marketing for The Walt Disney Studios, a role he has held since 2018, Ayaz will continue to oversee all aspects of marketing for films and series from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Studios, including strategy, creative advertising, media, digital, research, special events, promotions, international marketing, publicity, and synergy. He was also recently named to lead marketing for Disney+ globally.
An 18-year Disney veteran, Ayaz has developed and led marketing campaigns for some of the most successful film releases in history, including Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and the global phenomenon “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Additional campaigns Ayaz has spearheaded include Disney’s live-action hits “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”; Walt Disney Animation’s “Frozen 2” and “Encanto”; Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” and “Turning Red”; 20th Century Studios’ “Free Guy” and “Prey”; along with Disney+ hit series including “The Mandalorian,” “WandaVision,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and “Loki,” among many others. In all, Ayaz has led the campaigns for the most watched films on Disney+ and Hulu, and 13 of the top 15 box office debuts of all time, including six opening weekends over $200 million, as well as the biggest worldwide debut of all time for “Avengers: Endgame,” which earned over $1.2 billion in five days.
An award-winning marketing leader, Ayaz has been the recipient of multiple industry honors, including Variety’s Marketing Visionaries Award and The Clio Marketing Mastermind Award. He was recently named one of Forbes Most Influential CMOs, and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.