Sonia Coleman, former vice president of Corporate Human Resources, The Walt Disney Company, has been named senior vice president of Human Resources for the Disney | ABC Television Group, it was announced today by Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Media Networks and president, Disney | ABC Television Group, and Jayne Parker, executive vice president and chief Human Resources officer, The Walt Disney Company. Ms. Coleman replaces Steve Milovich, who, after 40 years in the industry and 15 years with The Walt Disney Company, announced his plans to retire from Disney in March.
In this position, Ms. Coleman will be responsible for all employee development, compensation, organization development, employee relations, diversity, recruitment and employee operations for Disney | ABC’s portfolio of businesses.
In making the announcement, Mr. Sherwood said, “An action-oriented executive with great instincts and judgment, Sonia will help Disney | ABC tackle the disruptions facing our industry. We all look forward to her valuable perspectives and innovative ideas about our most important resource … our employees.”
“Having worked closely with Sonia, I know her to be incredibly talented and creative, and have benefited from her reliable judgment and insights. A proven business and HR leader, she is greatly respected by her clients, has provided significant value and sound counsel, and is known for driving noteworthy progress,” said Ms. Parker. “Sonia is a fantastic addition to the DATG leadership team and will be a strong advocate for their employees.”
Ms. Coleman added, “I’m honored and thrilled to be given this incredible opportunity. TV is one of my passions, and I’m looking forward to working alongside such a talented group of executives and leading one of the best Human Resources divisions in the industry.”
Prior to this announcement, Ms. Coleman served as vice president, Human Resources for The Walt Disney Company. In this capacity, she oversaw HR strategy, change management initiatives, organizational development and engagement strategies for Disney’s Corporate, enterprise, and cross-functional employees, and served as the lead HR business partner to the Company’s senior corporate executives.
Prior to moving to Corporate, Sonia led an HR Business Partner function for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media employees. She acted as the strategic HR advisor to senior executives including the EVP, Disney Retail; EVP, Global Merchandise & Product Development; EVP & CFO.
A seasoned HR professional, Sonia has deep experience in compensation, learning and organizational development, providing strategic leadership in support of talent management, succession planning, integration strategies, change management, training and development, organizational effectiveness and talent acquisition not only at Disney, but also at The Children’s Place (which Disney acquired in 2008) and, before that, The Home Depot.
As director of Organizational Development and then senior director of HR for The Children’s Place, Sonia was charged with modernizing the entire HR function. In tackling that work, she created a companywide organizational competency model, effective employee development programs, and an accelerator for top talent. In the process, she and her team elevated the culture in HR and improved the employee experience for thousands of employees.
Sonia’s ability to establish strong relationships served her well at The Home Depot, where she was the strategic HR leader during a period of large-scale change and complex organizational transformation. She was responsible for building high-performing teams and creating innovative leadership development programs while delivering on the company’s aggressive business and growth strategies.
Sonia has a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership from Chapman University.