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Disney's New CFO Brings Experience with Nelson Peltz, Focus on Finance

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Disney's New CFO Brings Experience with Nelson Peltz, Focus on Finance

Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo Inc.'s current CFO, will be joining Walt Disney Co. as its new chief financial officer next month. Johnston's familiarity with activist investor Nelson Peltz, who has sought several board seats at Disney, adds an interesting dynamic to his new role. Johnston played a key role in defending Pepsi against Trian Fund Management's push for a merger or split a decade ago. While Johnston's expertise lies in finance rather than media, his experience in growing Pepsi's business and his operational knowledge make him a valuable addition to Disney's executive team.

Financial Expertise and Growth

Johnston's track record at PepsiCo demonstrates his ability to navigate financial challenges and drive growth. He played a crucial role in convincing investors of Pepsi's growth plan, and under his leadership, the company consistently exceeded conservative financial forecasts. Johnston's financial acumen and operational experience position him well to address the financial complexities Disney faces, especially in the midst of shifting consumer preferences towards streaming services.

Potential Succession and Strategic Partnerships

While Johnston's appointment as CFO does not directly position him as a successor to Disney CEO Bob Iger, his operational experience and public presence make him a potential candidate for future leadership roles. Additionally, his involvement in strategic partnerships, such as finding a strategic partner for ESPN and potentially acquiring Comcast's stake in Hulu, highlights his ability to navigate complex business negotiations. In conclusion, Hugh Johnston's appointment as Disney's new CFO brings a wealth of financial expertise and operational knowledge to the company. While he may not have direct experience in the media industry, his track record at PepsiCo and familiarity with Nelson Peltz make him a valuable asset as Disney continues to navigate the evolving entertainment landscape.

Impact of Disney's New CFO on Emerging Businesses

The appointment of Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo Inc.'s current CFO, as the new CFO of Walt Disney Co. is a significant development that could have far-reaching implications for new businesses in the media industry. Johnston's experience in finance and his successful track record at PepsiCo underscore the importance of financial acumen and operational knowledge in driving business growth, even in an industry where he doesn't have direct experience. For new businesses, this appointment highlights the value of transferrable skills and the ability to navigate complex financial challenges. It also signals the potential for individuals with backgrounds in different industries to bring fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to the media industry. Johnston's familiarity with activist investor Nelson Peltz, who has sought several board seats at Disney, adds an interesting dynamic to his role. This suggests that new businesses must be prepared to engage with activist investors and defend their strategic plans. Furthermore, Johnston's potential involvement in strategic partnerships and acquisitions indicates the growing importance of these strategies in the media industry, particularly in the context of the shift towards streaming services. In conclusion, Johnston's appointment offers valuable insights for new businesses, emphasizing the importance of financial expertise, operational knowledge, and strategic partnerships in navigating the evolving media landscape.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/disneys-new-cfo-has-experience-with-nelson-peltz-not-media
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