Disney+ names Canadian VP and GM

Experienced media executive and lawyer Jason Badal steps in to the role with hopes to 'accelerate and expand' the streamer's work in Canada.

Jason Badal – Shopify’s former director, multinational – has been named VP and GM of Disney+ in Canada, Playback Daily has learned.

The role will tap into Badal’s expertise in leading multinationals and with consumer products – just as the U.S. streaming service approaches its second anniversary in Canada next month.

Badal announced on LinkedIn Tuesday (Oct. 12) that he left Shopify on Sept. 24 after more than three years with the multi-channel e-commerce platform to join Disney.

“For my next chapter I will be returning to media and combining the worlds of technology, direct to consumer (DTC) and media. I can think of no better opportunity than reporting to [Disney+ president] Michael Paull and leading Disney’s DTC business in Canada,” Badal wrote.

“My hope: accelerate and expand on the great work so far, bringing more Disney+ to Canadians while also bringing more Canada to the world. It is early days but to my network and beyond: I want to hear your ideas so please reach out.”

At Shopify, Badal was tasked with transforming and bringing mass adoption of ecommerce to some of the world’s largest companies. He helped launch Shopify Studios in 2019, a TV and film content development and production hub aimed at promoting entrepreneurship via storytelling.

Previously, Badal spent almost a decade with Rogers Media and Sportsnet. He led business affairs and development, having joined after Sportsnet had acquired Score Media in 2012. He was involved in the Rogers’ partnership with major sports esports league, ESL, in 2017.

His new boss at Disney+ is also president of ESPN+.

Previously, Badal practised as a technology and corporate lawyer at McCarthy Tetrault LLP for three years (2006-2009), and taught at Ryerson University and Osgoode Hall Law School between 2008 and 2013.

In July, Badal was appointed to the board of the Canada Media Fund by the federal government’s Department of Heritage Canada following a call for more diverse representation among decision-makers including the board of directors. He also sits on the board of the MLSE Foundation.

Badal’s background includes time as an angel investor and advisor to several start-ups in the sports, tech and direct-to-consumer commerce industries.

The Toronto-headquarters for the Walt Disney Company (Canada) Ltd., has about 80 employees in Canada, according to Dunn and Bradstreet.