The reorganization combines the much larger Consumer Product unit, which in recent years accelerated the design of its own toys in addition to licensing Disney characters, with an Interactive unit that initially struggled, but has been profitable for nearly two years, thanks in part to the game Disney Infinity, which synchronizes collectible figures with online play.
"As technology and digital entertainment continue to evolve, a shared innovation strategy will enable this new segment to create unique and engaging products," Disney Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs said in a statement.
Disney's Consumer Product unit is already one of the leading publishers of digital apps for children, and this fall, it will introduce Playmation, a game that uses motion sensors and wearable technology.
The two units have combined before. Consumer Products began selling a line of Tsum, Tsum stackable plush collectable toys after the interactive unit created a hit mobile game based on the toy developed in Japan.
The Consumer Product delivered $988 million in operating earnings in the company's most recent fiscal year, with a 42% operating margin that is the highest among Disney's five operating units. Interactive delivered the company's smallest margin, with 16% on $101 million in operating earnings .
Combining the two units could signal Disney intends to focus less on digital offerings in the future, counters Laura Martin, an analyst with Needham & Co., who has a hold on Disney stock.