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Disney’s European TV topper ankles

Hulbert departs as more power shifts to Burbank

LONDON — Disney’s European topper David Hulbert has ankled in a shake-up of its senior team that sees promotion for John Hardie and Tom Toumazis that appears to see more power shift to Burbank.

Hulbert, who had headed the studio’s London HQ for the past decade, leaves without a job to go to.

In a statement from Disney he said: “I shall be taking a short well-earned rest, and will then start looking for entrepreneurial opportunities in the media and software sectors.”

Hulbert will not be directly replaced. Instead the top job in London has gone to ex-ITV executive John Hardie. He takes over as executive vice president/managing director, branded television, European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) territories.

Marketing maven Hardie will report directly to Rich Ross, president, Disney Channel Worldwide.

Ross said: “Since joining our team more than three years ago, John has been instrumental in the growth and leadership of our branded television properties in these important markets.

“His recent efforts spearheading the creation and launch of ABC1 in the U.K. typify his unique abilities.”

Anne Sweeney, co-chairman, Media Networks, the Walt Disney Company and president, Disney-ABC Television Group, said: “This reorganization is simply the next step in our ongoing efforts to increase effectiveness and streamline communications among our television properties in these important territories.”

Tom Toumazis, former senior vice president/ managing director, Buena Vista International Television, EMEA, takes over as executive vice president/ managing director, Buena Vista International Television, EMEA.

Hulbert’s position at Disney has been the subject of speculation in London in recent months.