Go behind the scenes and learn about the people, initiatives and opportunities at Playdom.
John PleasantsCo-President, Disney Interactive
In his role, Mr. Pleasants leads the overall strategy for Disney Interactive's multi-faceted digital games businesses, which includes games across console, social, and mobile platforms, in addition to a portfolio of online virtual worlds. He also oversees Disney Interactive's global network of game development studios. Previously, Mr. Pleasants served as chief executive officer of Playdom, which was founded in February 2008 and acquired by Disney in August 2010. More » Before joining Playdom, Mr. Pleasants served as president of publishing and chief operating officer of Electronic Arts (EA), where he oversaw global operations for the company and drove EA's digital initiatives. Prior to joining EA, he served as president and chief executive officer of Revolution Heath and chief executive officer of Ticketmaster. During his tenure at Ticketmaster/InteractiveCorp (IAC), Mr. Pleasants also oversaw several leading online entities such asMatch.com, CitySearch.com, Evite.com, Entertainment Publishing and ReserveAmerica.com. Mr. Pleasants earned a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and is a graduate of Harvard Business School. Less »
John SpinaleSVP, Social Games
As Senior Vice President of Social Games, John Spinale oversees all aspects of Disney's social gaming business. John joined Disney in November 2011 from OnLive, the cloud-based entertainment service. As OnLive's Vice President of Games and Media, John helped establish the content strategy and shape OnLive's consumer offerings to build the definitive cloud-based games platform. More » Before OnLive, John developed numerous interactive entertainment organizations at companies including Eidos, where he served as Senior Vice President of Product Development during its recent turnaround and sale, and at Activision, where he worked as a creative director and executive producer on products that helped fuel the company's resurgence. John also has a successful track record as an entrepreneur, having founded and run Bitmo, a wireless messaging start-up, which was acquired in 2001 and has since grown to become the world's largest mobile transaction network. John holds an engineering degree from Yale and currently serves as an advisor to several startups. Less »
Christa Quarles VP, Chief Financial Officer
Christa oversees Playdom's financial management and forecasting, and helps drive the company's strategic planning. Christa came to Playdom from Thomas Weisel Partners, where she served as managing director for four years and as a senior equity research analyst for almost a decade. In 2009, while covering market leaders from Google to Yahoo, Financial Times ranked Christa the #1 Internet software and services analyst for earnings estimates in the United States. More » Prior to joining Thomas Weisel, Christa held an assistant vice president position at Merrill Lynch. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Carnegie Mellon with degrees in economics and German, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Less »
Michael RubinelliVP, Studio Operations
In his role as VP of Studio Operations, Michael manages the strategy and operations of Playdom's growing network of studios. Michael is a 19-year industry veteran, having started his career in 1991 with Electronic Arts before going on to Williams Entertainment, Midway Home Entertainment, THQ Incorporated, and Genius Products LLC, a division of The Weinstein Company. He has developed and launched titles such as John Madden Football, various versions of the Mortal Kombat franchise, NBA Hangtime, and NFL Blitz.
Dan YueFounder & SVP, Product
The founding CEO of Playdom, Dan Yue now serves as the company's Senior Vice President of Product. In the same ilk as many of the Valley's leading entrepreneurs, Dan is an interesting character. Prior to Playdom, Dan was employee #1 at Adify, an ad network platform acquired by Cox Enterprises in 2008; founded several wildly unsuccessful technology start-ups; and served as technical consultant to Wynn Design and Development. More » With a degree in physics from Swarthmore College, Dan uses data-driven insights to understand what players want and deliver it. A lifelong gamer, Dan has played thousands of hours of Final Fantasy 7 and Baldur's Gate 2, and spent 34 long days as a semi-professional Blackjack player. Dan's commitment to the player experience runs so deep that he wakes up several times a night to check the performance of our games. Less »
Ling XiaoFounder & VP, Technology
Ling founded Playdom as a Stanford PhD candidate in computer science. Before Playdom, Ling puzzled over data anomalies at Google and researched the scalable visual analysis of large datasets at Stanford. Ling has an MS in computer science from Stanford and a BS in electrical engineering from Berkeley—both accomplishments squeezed in between marathon sessions of Counter-Strike. A literal student of the world, Ling lived in Beijing, Shanghai, Toronto and Vienna before moving to the Bay Area to "study" his two favorite things: CS and gaming.
Chris WangFounder & VP, Technology
Chris spent two years as a Google engineer before founding Playdom. Before officially joining Google, Chris received his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon - completed in a record-breaking two years and ten months - and interned at, you guessed it, Google. Chris also holds a BA in computer science from Berkeley. However, his knack for programming and obsession with gaming goes much further back: As a high schooler, Chris took 14th place in the USA Computing Olympiad and spent countless days trying to program his first 3D RPG.