Mike White, the leader behind Disney’s metaverse ambitions, has left the company, a person familiar with the matter confirmed.
The reason for White's departure is not immediately clear, but it is a nail in the coffin of sorts for a dream that Disney never got off the ground. In February 2022, the media powerhouse appointed White—already a Disney executive—to lead its metaverse strategy under the then-new title of senior VP of next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences.
At the time of White's hiring, then-CEO Bob Chapek was all-in on the virtual vision: “Today, we have an opportunity to …create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories,” he wrote in an internal memo at the time. “This is the so-called metaverse, which I believe is the next great storytelling frontier and the perfect place to pursue our strategic pillars of Storytelling Excellence, Innovation, and Audience Focus.”
Disney and White did not respond to requests for comment for this story.