Carolyn Everson, the former ad leader at Facebook, will join the Disney board of directors, just as the company is about to expand its digital ad business.
On Friday, Disney said that it had conducted an extensive search for a new board member, and landed on Everson, noting her “deep experience in consumer-facing companies.” Disney said Everson would take on her role in November.
“Carolyn has had a hand in building a number of world-class digital advertising businesses,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in the announcement, adding that “her insights make her a great fit as we continue to position the company for long-term growth.”
Everson spent more than 10 years at Facebook, which is now Meta, before leaving in June of 2021. Everson, as VP of global business group, helped turn Facebook into the No. 2 digital advertising business in the world, generating $84.2 billion in ad sales in her final full year there in 2020. Everson also has close ties with the top brands and holding companies.
Meanwhile, Disney is very much pressing into digital advertising, with Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu as its flagship channels on streaming TV. Disney has been building an ad tech platform, too, in order to deliver ads, data and measurement on connected TV. Disney+, which houses Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic programming, and more, is set to launch an ad-supported version of the platform in coming weeks.
After Facebook, Everson had a brief stint at tech grocery startup Instacart, where she was hired as president before departing in December. Everson also is on the board of Coca-Cola.
Everson’s LinkedIn profile also mentions an early job at Walt Disney Imagineering as a business development manager. She also held roles at Viacom and Microsoft, before Facebook.
“Disney is a beloved brand with an incredible history that brings joy to millions of consumers around the world and one that has meant so much to me and my family over the years," Everson said in the announcement. “I am fully committed to helping progress Disney’s strategic priorities at an exciting time for the business and industry at large.”
Everson’s appointment was viewed as a stabilizing move for Disney. Activist investor Dan Loeb, CEO of Third Point, had been pushing for new leadership on Disney’s board. The Wall Street Journal reported that Everson’s appointment meant Loeb would not push for his own slate of new members at Disney’s annual meeting early next year.