The chief financial officer, Greater China, for The Walt Disney Company, Natacha Rafalski leads both finance and information technology functions in that region. During her three-years as CFO, Rafalski has been part of a management team driving rapid growth for Disney Greater China. She has also played a key role in several important negotiations and financing efforts.
As a diversity and inclusion representative for Walt Disney International, Rafalski has been working to develop a vibrant diversity and inclusion culture within the organization. She is also the executive sponsor of a mentoring program that engages senior leaders to develop talent across the organization.
After a childhood in France, Rafalski moved to California where she earned a bachelor’s degree in math and economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also earned an M.B.A., finance, at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management.
According to Rafalski, a diverse workforce is critical to Disney’s business. “When our employees reflect the diversity of the communities we serve, it enhances the quality and relevance of our entertainment and experiences,” she explains. “Encouraging a broad range of opinions, ideas and perspectives helps drive creativity and innovation across the company. We are building a workforce representative of the global marketplace, while fostering Natacha Rafalski Title: Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Company: The Walt Disney Company, China Industry: Media and Entertainment CEO: Robert Iger Employees: 195,000 (globally) Headquarters: Burbank, CA Education: M.B.A., UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management; B.A., Math/Economics Personal philosophy: Look through every door that opens and ask what you would try if you knew you could not fail. Words I live by: “What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it” – Edward Albee an inclusive environment for our employees and their families.”
Observing great leaders and choosing powerful mentors throughout her career provided Rafalski with valuable insights that helped shape her own leadership values and beliefs. “Learning from mistakes, viewing failure as success and never giving up taught me to believe in myself,” she says. “I share my path with other women by being a mentor, telling my story whenever I can, and being accessible and available.”
And she offers this advice to women currently in the career pipeline: “Look through every door that opens and ask what you would try if you knew you could not fail.”