Paige Olson has been named chief counsel of Disney Studios Content, Variety has learned exclusively.
A 25-year Disney veteran, Olson will succeed longtime studio general counsel Steve Bardwil when he retires at the end of March. She will lead the division’s legal affairs team, and report to Disney Studios chairman Alan Bergman and Walt Disney Company general counsel and secretary Horacio Gutierrez.
Disney Studios Content encompasses all of the company’s marquee content engines, including Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures. Her purview as chief counsel will also include the Disney Theatrical Group, a producer of global stage shows, and studio marketing, operations, finance, technology, human resources and other business groups.
Olson has consistently climbed the ladder since joining Disney in 1996. She most recently served as deputy chief counsel, overseeing legal affairs for films from the Disney Live Action group, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight. This included talent deals and production matters for theatrical and streaming titles.
Her credits include work on major franchise films like “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cruella.” Olson handled legal affairs on popular streaming titles for Disney Plus, including the competitive “Hamilton” acquisition.
She also contributed to Disney’s Launchpad, a short-film incubator program showcasing filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. It’s a yearlong intensive which consists of script and professional development, educational components from the American Film Institute curriculum and a generous production schedule for the shorts. Select titles also have a path to distribution on Disney Plus.
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