Disney Branded Television has found a new president in Ayo Davis, the company announced on Thursday (Sept. 23).
Davis will take on the creative and operational leadership of the content group as it expands development and production of Disney-branded programming for Disney+ and linear networks. She’ll report to Peter Rice, Disney General Entertainment chairman.
The move comes days after former president Gary Marsh announced he’s stepping down from the position to launch a production company focused on developing programming for Disney. Marsh will work closely with Davis on a transition through the rest of the year.
Davis will oversee operations of Disney Branded Television including programming, strategy, development, production, casting, business affairs and marketing for unscripted, scripted and animation for Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.
“Ayo is a focused leader with impeccable creative instincts who’s excelled in every role she’s held at Disney,” Rice said in a news release.
“Her creative eye for talent has made meaningful impact in front of and behind the camera, from iconic shows across our networks that were defined by their casting choices to building a roster of creator talent that will redefine family programming at Disney Branded Television. She’s the absolute perfect person to lead the team at a time they are broadening their remit to develop more family programming across streaming and cable distribution.”
Since November 2020, Davis served as executive vice president of creative development and strategy for Disney Branded Television, overseeing unscripted and scripted series, movies and specials targeted to families, kids and teens. She’s worked closely with studios across Disney such as 20th Television and ABC Signature to create programming for the company’s streaming and linear platforms.
Davis has worked on the creative side of TV for Disney for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining Disney Branded Television, she worked as executive vice president of talent and casting at ABC Entertainment and Disney+, where she championed the careers of talent including Viola Davis, Eva Longoria, Jesse Williams and Gina Rodriguez. Davis also helped launch ABC Discovers, a collection of casting initiatives working to nurture and create opportunities for up-and-coming talent from around the world. The program’s alumni includes Lupita Nyong’o, Gina Rodriguez and Pedro Pascal.