Disney names PepsiCo veteran Hugh Johnston as Senior Executive VP and CFO

Nov 06, 2023 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Monday November 6, 2023 9:09am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Hugh F. Johnston has been named Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Company, effective December 4, 2023, and is the long-term replacement for former CFO Christine McCarthy, who left the role in July 2023.


Johnston is Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo, where he has held numerous leadership positions during a successful 34-year career with the multinational food and beverage giant.

As Disney's Chief Financial Officer, Johnston will report directly to Disney CEO Bob Iger and will lead the company's worldwide finance organization, which includes corporate real estate, corporate strategy and business development, enterprise controllership, enterprise technology, financial planning and analysis, global product and labor standards, global security, investor relations, risk management, tax, and treasury.

"Hugh's well-earned reputation as one of the best CFOs in America and his wealth of leadership experience in both financial and operational roles overseeing a diverse portfolio of top global brands make him a perfect addition to Disney's senior leadership team," said Iger. "His expertise will serve Disney and its shareholders well as we continue the transformative work we are doing to drive growth and value creation.

"I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Kevin Lansberry, who stepped into the CFO role on an interim basis earlier this year," Iger said. "Kevin has provided steady leadership and invaluable counsel to our executive management team, and he will continue to be one of our company's most important financial leaders as he returns to his role as CFO of our Disney Experiences segment."

"Disney is such a storied company, with the most beloved brands in the world and a strong financial foundation to support the company of the future that Bob and his team are building," Johnston said. "Very few companies have withstood the test of time that Disney has, making the company as rare as it is special. I share Bob's enthusiasm for Disney's future, and I am incredibly excited to join this management team in this moment of opportunity and possibility."

Johnston joined PepsiCo in 1987, and has held a variety of roles, including Executive Vice President, Global Operations, PepsiCo; President, Pepsi-Cola North America; Senior Vice President, Transformation, PepsiCo; Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, PepsiCo Beverages and Foods; and Senior Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions, PepsiCo. Johnston also served as Vice President, Retail at Merck & Co. from 1999 until 2002, when he rejoined PepsiCo.

Johnston was named CFO of PepsiCo in 2010 and has been responsible for providing strategic financial leadership for PepsiCo, including ensuring the company’s strategy creates shareholder value, communicating the company’s strategies and performance to investors, and implementing a capital structure, financial processes and controls to support the company’s growth and return on investment goals.

Johnston currently serves as a member of the board and chair of the audit committee of Microsoft Corp., and as a member of the board and chair of the audit committee of HCA Healthcare. He is also a director for the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a leading global economic think tank.

Johnston holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

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lazyboy97oNov 10, 2023

Sure but it has absolutely nothing to do with Johnson.

mharringtonNov 10, 2023

Isn't it possible that that could happen?

LilofanNov 10, 2023

Coke has Sprite and Sun Drop which is a joke. Pepsi has Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew and if Pepsi replaces Coke at WDW with the new CFO help, I will be happy.

lazyboy97oNov 10, 2023

Write a bigger check than Coke.

mharringtonNov 10, 2023

Oh, and what does Pepsi have to do?

lazyboy97oNov 10, 2023

It’s clickbait being pushed by Facebook’s algorithm. Pepsi knows exactly what they have to do to replace Coca-Cola and some executive leaving there to go to Disney is not the key.

mharringtonNov 10, 2023

I discovered that article on Facebook. It was the first time I had heard of Johnston joining the company.

The Peanut GalleryNov 10, 2023

There's zero rumours circulating about Pepsi replacing Coke in the parks besides that article you linked. Must you always be on the lookout for a dark cloud?

ohioguyNov 07, 2023

He'll be Iger's replacement, guaranteed.

Disney IrishNov 07, 2023

Actually as much as I would prefer Pepsi over Coke in the Parks, I'd rather have a return of Casa de Frito's at Disneyland (birth place of the Doritos) with the original Frito's Kid. (If it happens, you heard it here first! :))

mharringtonNov 07, 2023

I really hope not! And neither do the people who wrote this article on the matter at Disney Dining: https://www.disneydining.com/please-disney-world-dont-switch-to-pepsi-products-in-the-parks-bb1/. And yet, the rumor of a potential replacement seems legit, given Johnston's history with Pepsi and Disney's obsession with cutting costs.

LilofanNov 06, 2023

Iger I would think has hired a Yes exec loyal to him.

SirwalterraleighNov 06, 2023

…woah…don’t expect miracles 😎

LilofanNov 06, 2023

If he convinces Iger and Disney to switch to Pepsi , I'm all for it!