Sonia Coleman has been named senior executive vice president and chief human resources officer of The Walt Disney Company.
Coleman, who was senior vice president human resources for Disney Entertainment and ESPN, will succeed Paul Richardson, who is leaving after more than 15 years at Disney. Coleman starts in the role on April 8.
She will report directly to Disney CEO Bob Iger and will lead Disney’s HR strategy, global talent acquisition, cultural development, global security, leadership development, diversity and inclusion and more.
“Sonia is widely respected across the company as a gifted leader and strong advocate for our employees,” Iger said. “Her proven expertise leading the human resources function for our general entertainment businesses and ESPN during a period of unprecedented transformation makes her the perfect choice to lead this function company-wide as we implement our new operating structure and position Disney to capitalize on the opportunities ahead. I also want to extend my thanks to Paul Richardson for his many years of service to the company and his contributions to numerous ongoing initiatives, including our Heroes Work Here veterans hiring program.”
Coleman has long been in leadership HR roles for Disney. She joined Disney in 2008 as vice president human resources, Disney consumer products, and worked in that role for eight years, before being promoted to other HR roles. Before Disney, Coleman worked in HR roles at the Children’s Place and The Home Depot.
Coleman has a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University and a Master of Science degree in human resource management from Florida International University.
“It is truly an honor to be named to this role, and I am grateful for the confidence that Bob has placed in me,” Coleman said. “Disney is unrivaled because of the talent, dedication, and enthusiasm of our cast members and employees. They are the key to our success, and I look forward to being their greatest champion, in partnership with our exceptional HR teams around the world, as we move forward through the important company-wide transformation underway that will truly empower the people behind the magic of Disney.”