Disney poaches OnLive exec to head social games

Disney has hired away OnLive executive John Spinale to be the new head of the Disney Interactive Media Group’s social games business.

Spinale will run the social game business, which includes Disney’s Playdom division, and report to John Pleasants, co-president of Disney’s game division. Spinale will be based in Disney’s Palo Alto, Calif. office.

Spinale will assume strategic and day-to-day management responsibilities at Playdom that were previously handled by Pleasants, who was chief executive of Playdom before Disney acquired it for $763.2 million in July of last year.

Previously, Spinale was vice president of games and media at OnLive and was responsible for acquiring new content for OnLive’s cloud-based game-streaming business. He helped bring dozens of games and publishers to the OnLive platform. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of development at Eidos and also worked at Activision and Bitmo.

Pleasants said, “Playdom has an exciting roadmap for 2012 and beyond, and John will play an important role in bringing the magic of Disney to the world’s most popular social media platforms. Social games are a key part of Disney’s digital strategy, and will be a critical driver of DIMG’s future success.”

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