Paul Richardson serves as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Walt Disney Company. In this role, Mr. Richardson is responsible for leading Disney’s human resources strategy, global talent acquisition, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, organizational design and cultural development, employee education and development, compensation and benefits, HR operations and technology, employee relations, and global security.
Previously, Mr. Richardson led human resources at ESPN from 2007 to 2021, where he supported 50 different business units. He also served as a member of the ESPN Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and oversaw ESPN’s Corporate Citizenship team, which is responsible for strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, as well as worldwide Global Security & Facilities Operations.
Mr. Richardson also served as the first chief diversity officer for The Walt Disney Company from 2011 to 2017, partnering with diversity leaders across Disney’s business segments to define and implement global D&I strategies. He launched numerous programs and initiatives, including Disney’s signature Heroes Work Here program, through which the Company has employed more than 10,000 veterans, and its Veterans Institute workshops for employers looking to establish their own military hiring and development programs; the Global Workplace & Women’s Initiative; and a growth initiative targeting US Hispanics. Under his direction and leadership, ESPN has also launched several diversity initiatives including a Women’s Leadership Conference, nine Employee Resource Groups and an Executive Diversity Council. In 2019, he initiated Disney’s Black Employee & Consumer Experience, focused on increasing Black employee representation, enhancing development opportunities for Black executives, and finding ways to make the Company’s content and products even more relevant to Black consumers.
Mr. Richardson began his career as an attorney before transitioning to the human resources field. Prior to joining ESPN, Mr. Richardson served as Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources at Universal McCann; Senior Vice President, Human Resources, for Paramount Pictures Corp.; and Vice President, Human Resources, at Bowne & Company in Los Angeles. He also spent more than 10 years at The Times Mirror Company, former parent company of the Los Angeles Times, where he held HR and legal roles and served as a key member of executive management.
Board and Advisor Roles
Mr. Richardson has served as an advisor to the California State Summer School of the Arts and as a board member of the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA, now known as C2HR). He is currently a member of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Board of Councilors.
He received a NAMIC (National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications) Luminary Award in 2010, and CableFAX: The Magazine named him to its Most Influential Minorities in Cable list from 2010 to 2020.
Mr. Richardson received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California.