Disney’s Head of Diversity and Senior Vice President, Latondra Newton, is set to depart from her position, as confirmed by a reliable source familiar with the matter on Tuesday. Having dedicated over six years to the company, Newton now plans to bring her expertise to the corporate board of another organization while also channeling her focus towards her own creative venture.
As a result of this transition, Julie Merges, the Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition, will step in as the interim leader for Newton’s direct reports. An internal note from Disney’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Sonia Coleman, shared this information, ensuring a smooth continuation of operations during this period of change.
Since 2017, Newton has been at the forefront of Disney’s efforts in championing diversity and inclusion. Through her leadership, she has collaborated with diverse teams to create entertainment that resonates with a global audience and fosters an inclusive and welcoming work environment for all. A profile on Disney’s official website details Newton’s instrumental role in coordinating these initiatives.
One notable example of Disney’s commitment to diversity was seen in the recent release of “The Little Mermaid,” where the portrayal of Princess Ariel was beautifully brought to life by the talented Black American singer, Halle Bailey. This served as a powerful testament to Disney’s ongoing dedication to promoting diversity and representation in their productions.
At present, Disney has not responded to Reuters’ request for comment regarding Newton’s departure. However, Variety had previously reported on this significant development.