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WOMEN ELITE 2008: DISNEY--Leaders rise up ranks

By Jennifer Netherby -- Video Business, 10/27/2008

VB's Women Elite 2008
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Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s team of leading women execs makes a perfect case for how more women are rising up the ranks in home entertainment to fill key roles. All five have been with Disney since the ’90s, and all have played major roles in the studio’s evolution over the last few years.

Lori MacPherson joined the division’s marketing department in the early ’90s and continued a steady rise to her current position as domestic general manager.

MacPherson and her stateside team, which includes fellow Women Elites Gabrielle Chamberlin, senior VP of marketing, and Jeanne Hobson, senior VP of sales for trade marketing and distribution, have scored big with the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD releases, ABC’s High School Musical and Lost, the re-release of Disney classic Peter Pan and animated direct-to-video Cinderella 3.

Meanwhile, Kristin McQueen, the studio’s senior VP of worldwide business and legal affairs, has provided legal guidance to Apple and Wal-Mart over electronic distribution and in a European Commission anti-trust investigation into next-generation media.

Julie Sneddon previously led Disney’s European, African and Middle Eastern home entertainment operations before becoming senior VP of worldwide sales and distribution, based in Burbank, Calif. Under her supervision, the division turned in its second most profitable year ever. She also helped introduce Blu-ray in those territories.

MacPherson gives a nod to Disney’s earlier generation of elite women, including Ann Daly, Kelley Avery and Mary Kincaid, who were already several rungs up the home entertainment job ladder when MacPherson joined.

“I was very fortunate to spend my early years with those types of role models and mentors, which was fantastic,” she says.

Since then, a throng of other women also have moved up in every area, from marketing, where women have long been well represented, to more traditionally male-dominated areas, such as sales, she says.


Lori MacPherson, General Manager North America


Gabrielle Chamberlin,
senior VP of marketing, North America


Jeanne Hobson,
senior VP of sales, trade marketing and distribution, North America


Kristin McQueen,
senior VP of worldwide business and legal affairs


Julie Sneddon,
senior VP of worldwide sales and distribution

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