Disney hired PepsiCo veteran Hugh Johnston as CFO

Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Disney said Monday that Hugh Johnston, chief financial officer PepsiCowill join the company as its new CFO, as the entertainment giant grapples with falling pricing and broadcast losses.

Johnston has spent the past 34 years with PepsiCo, holding various positions in the food and beverage company before becoming CFO in 2010.

Johnston, who starts at Disney on Dec. 4, will report directly to CEO Bob Iger.

“Disney is a storied company, with some of the most popular 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 in a statement. “Very few companies have stood the test of time that Disney has, making the company as rare as it is special.”

Disney’s previous CFO, Christine McCarthy, stepped down earlier this year. His resignation comes amid a major overhaul of the company during Iger’s second term as CEO, which began nearly a year ago. The company has cut 7,000 jobs during several rounds of layoffs this year.

Disney is mulling several moves, including selling potentially powerful ABC and seeking strategic partner ESPN, as the traditional pay TV business loses millions of customers each year. The company has already hired former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer to advise on business restructuring.

The entertainment giant is under fresh pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz as it grapples with losses at its streaming business and a stock that has fallen nearly 2% this year. Peltz’s company, Trian Fund Management, increased its stake in Disney to about 30 million shares. CNBC previously reported that the company plans to push for more seats on the board, including Peltz himself.

Disney is looking for a replacement for Iger as CEO after he returned to his role last November. Disney would like to name an heir apparent to Iger as early as 2025, CNBC reported earlier this year.

Disney is scheduled to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Wednesday.

Disclosure: Hugh Johnston is a member of this CNBC CFO Council.

Read more: Cramer calls Disney ‘good hire’ ahead of key earnings report

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