Sonia Coleman To Lead Human Resources For ESPN, Expands Role As HR Chief At Disney General Entertainment Content

Sonia Coleman is expanding her role within Disney’s content group, adding HR oversight of ESPN to her current role as senior VP, Human Resources, Disney General Entertainment Content, effective immediately. 

Coleman, who has served in a variety of HR roles at the media giant, has led DGE human resources since 2017. She is adding responsibility for ESPN and sports content, reporting dually to Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, ESPN and Sports Content and Peter Rice, chairman, Disney General. Sonia will also report to Paul Richardson, Disney’s SVP, Human Resources. He had previously served as ESPN’s HR lead before being upped to run Disney’s global HR effort. He started July 1.  

“I am personally ecstatic to welcome Sonia to the ESPN leadership team,” Pitaro said in a memo to staff obtained by Deadline. “I know firsthand that she is an extremely talented and capable executive who has earned her outstanding reputation. I’m looking forward to working closely with her and the exceptional HR team Paul built in Bristol to continue serving the people of ESPN.” 

In her new role, Sonia will be responsible for all diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, employee development and engagement, organizational development, employee relations, recruitment and compensation for both DGE’s and ESPN’s portfolios of businesses. DGE’s content businesses include 20th Television, 20th Television Animation, ABC Entertainment, ABC Signature, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, Onyx Collective and National Geographic.

At ESPN, Kara Anderson, Tonya Cornileus, Rob Gallo, Lynn Matthews and Tracey Pass will report to Sonia. Sonia’s direct reports at DGE will remain the same: Luca Citterio, Tonya Dobine, Kim Hahn, Albert Hernandez, Bret Hirst, Jim Howard, Josefina Leon, Fatimah Miller and Jennifer Reberger. 

Prior to being named DGE’s HR chief, Sonia was the Human Resources vice president supporting Disney’s corporate officers and overseeing change management initiatives, organizational development and engagement strategies. Before that, she led an HR business partner function for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. Sonia has also held HR roles with the Disney Stores (which Disney acquired from The Children’s Place in 2008) and The Home Depot. 

“Sonia Coleman is an absolutely fantastic business partner and a thoughtful leader whose dedication to finding and supporting world-class employees has driven our creative success,” said Rice in the memo.

Richardson said, “Sonia’s dedication to our businesses and advocacy for our employees have been demonstrated time and time again, and I’m thrilled that she’s expanding her scope.”

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