A.D. ”Bud” Albers Named Chief Technology Officer of the Walt Disney Internet Group
A.D. “Bud” Albers has been appointed as chief technology officer (CTO) of the Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG). WDIG develops and delivers interactive Disney-branded media for Internet and mobile devices for audiences around the world and also provides centralized development support and a world-class technology for all of the Internet properties of The Walt Disney Company. Reporting to WDIG President Steve Wadsworth, Albers will be responsible for leading technological breakthroughs on existing platforms as well as developing cutting-edge new technology solutions in support of the company’s new media technology needs. He will begin on January 2, 2008.
Albers joins WDIG from MediaNet Digital, formerly MusicNet, where he served as Senior Vice President & CTO, leading numerous high-profile digital music service launches including Microsoft Zune, MTV Urge, Yahoo Music Unlimited, Virgin Red Pass and the Samsung Media Service in Europe. He was responsible for all aspects of product strategy, development and implementation, including leading the company’s shift into video, DRM free and cross platform technologies.
“Bud’s depth and breadth of experience in complex technology solutions and global business challenges will be invaluable to us as we pursue our mission to offer a compelling mix of interactive entertainment and information content and services for Internet and mobile devices for audiences around the world,” said Wadsworth. “We’re fortunate to have someone with Bud’s deep success record and strategic insight on our leadership team.
“His technical knowledge combined with his strategic thinking will help us achieve our vision of a world where users can access The Walt Disney Company content, including Disney-branded characters and stories, ABC news and entertainment and ESPN sports coverage and analysis, anytime and anywhere.”
Prior to MediaNet, Albers served as CTO of Drugstore.com, one of the leading online pure-play retailers, where he was responsible for all aspects of technology including design, development and operation of a suite of high volume retail Web sites that support more than 125M unique visitors per year.
Albers drove the creation of a state-of-the-art technology platform designed to optimize the cost of new customer acquisition through paid placement and free-text search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo. He led teams through upgrade planning, execution and support of the largest holiday season in the history of the company and setting numerous order and site volume records, achieving a level of uninterrupted service for the holiday season.
Albers’ experience also includes serving the role of senior vice president and CTO at Getty Images, where he successfully led the company’s highly profiled transition from bricks to clicks, migrating more than 90 percent of the company’s revenues to the on-line channel while helping to lead the integration efforts for the groups 39 acquisitions, transforming the business model into one referred to by J.P. Morgan & Co. as “one of the most successful web-based businesses around.” He was also instrumental in building the company’s online news and sports services.
Albers graduated from McKendree College with a bachelor of science degree in Computing and Information Sciences in 1986. He was named to ComputerWorld’s Premier 100 IT leaders in December 2007, an honor for leaders who have had a positive impact on their organizations through technology. Albers will be based in WDIG’s Seattle office.
About Walt Disney Internet Group
The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) offers a compelling mix of interactive entertainment and informational content and services for Internet and mobile devices for audiences around the world. WDIG is both a developer of unique new media experiences specifically designed for Internet and mobile media and a developer of new platforms for distributing content selected from broad, existing entertainment divisions and libraries of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS). With a portfolio of products and services designed with quality and guest safety in mind, WDIG’s integration of Disney’s unmatched breadth of content with a best-practices approach to Internet and mobile technology drives multiple revenue streams from premium content offerings, advertising and ecommerce. WDIG’s suite of properties includes Disney.com, Family.com, Movies.com and mDisney mobile entertainment. WDIG is an industry leader in online virtual worlds for kids and families, with offerings including Disney’s Club Penguin, Disney’s Toontown Online, Pirates of the Caribbean Online and Disney Fairies. WDIG, which is headquartered in North Hollywood, Calif., has operations in Asia-Pacific, Europe and across the Americas.