Ayo Davis has been tapped to replace Gary Marsh as president of Disney Branded Television. Marsh exited the position earlier this week but will remain with Disney to produce new content through his new production company, Including a new Tinker Bell movie, a reboot of Escape From Witch Mountain, the Gaston, and Lefou prequel series, and new Descendants projects.
Ayo Davis will continue to work with Marsh through the end of the year on the transition.
Davis is quickly rising up the ranks of The Walt Disney Company. Last November, Davis was hired as to the position of executive vice president creative development and strategy at Disney Branded Television. She was charged with leading a division that supplies Disney-branded content geared toward kids, tweens, teens, and families for the Mouse House’s vast portfolio, including Disney+, ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD and more. Previously, Davis was executive vice president, Talent and Casting, ABC Entertainment, and Disney+. She provided casting strategy and services to the Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment, working closely with the Disney+ team across all scripted and unscripted content.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, In her new role, Davis will oversee Disney Branded TV programming, strategy, development, current, production, casting, and business affairs for scripted, unscripted, and animation fare for Disney+ as well as Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. Since serving as exec vp creative development and strategy at the division, she has developed the recently announced projects including From the Desk of Zoe Washington from Kerry Washington, Sal & Gabi Break the Universe from Eva Longoria, and House of Secrets, from Chris Columbus (Home Alone). Davis will continue to work closely with Disney’s various studios, including 20th Television and ABC Signature Studios.
“Ayo is a focused leader with impeccable creative instincts who’s excelled in every role she’s held at Disney,” said Disney General Entertainment chairman Peter Rice, to whom she will now report. “Her creative eye for talent has made meaningful impact in front of and behind the camera, from iconic shows across our networks that were defined by their casting choices to building a roster of creator talent that will redefine family programming at Disney Branded Television. She’s the absolute perfect person to lead the team at a time they are broadening their remit to develop more family programming across streaming and cable distribution. I’m excited to watch all she will accomplish.”
Davis was instrumental in casting some of ABC’s most recognized shows, including The Good Doctor, the Emmy Award-winning drama American Crime the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning series black-ish, and How to Get Away with Murder, for which Viola Davis won the Emmy as the first African American actress to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She has championed the careers and attracted the likes of some of the industry’s most notable actors, including Eva Longoria, Jesse Williams, and Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez.