Disney’s Chief Diversity Officer is leaving the entertainment conglomerate after a six-year career.
Latondra Newton, who joined the Burbank-based studio in February 2017 after leading Toyota’s integration efforts, is leaving Disney “to pursue other endeavors,” chief human resources officer Sonia Coleman wrote in a memo Tuesday. The search for a new Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Chief is about to begin.
The exit marks the latest departure for the leadership team at Disney after last November’s shakeup that saw CEO Bob Chapek ousted and Bob Iger return. The company has been in reorganization mode this year as Iger consolidates divisions and leads cost-cutting and pink slips for 7,000 employees. On June 15, CFO Christine McCarthy, who had worked at the studio for more than two decades, announced that she would be going on medical leave for family reasons and would be leaving the role.
Coleman’s full memo on Tuesday is below (Variety First reported the exit):
To our extended DEI and HR team,
I am writing to share the news that Latondra Newton has decided to leave The Walt Disney Company to pursue other matters.
Since joining the company in 2017, Latondra has led the company’s strategic diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including working with stakeholders across the company to amplify people’s stories around the world. She is committed to ensuring that everyone sees themselves and their life experiences in a meaningful and authentic way.
I know you all join me in thanking Latondra for her many contributions, including the lasting impact she has had on our employees and our culture. Along with you and so many others, she has inspired countless cast members and collaborators to make lasting change and help create a world where we can all feel safe and belong.
Latondra’s direct reports will report to Julie Merges on an interim basis until a new DEI leader is identified. I want to thank Julie for leading this team along with her Talent Acquisition organization. In addition, Shelby Curry and the DEI Internal Communications team will continue to report to Carrie Brown in her role as responsible for the company’s internal communications and engagement.
Thank you all for your continued contributions to our DEI efforts. I know we can count on you to continue this important work during this leadership change.