HONG KONG – Catherine Powell will succeed John Cracknell as managing director of Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand.

Powell is currently based in London as senior VP and General Manager of Disney Media Distribution in Europe, Middle East and Africa. She will relocate to Sydney, Australia in July 2014.

Cracknell is one of Disney’s longest serving executives and has spent 23 years with the group, having joined in 1992 in its home entertainment unit. He has held various other roles including head of home entertainment for South East Asia, and Country Manager for Walt Disney International in Australia and New Zealand.

“For 23 years John has displayed amazing commitment and dedication to the business, has created a world class team and in rising to the challenges of our industry, leaves The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand in excellent shape,” said Andy Bird, chairman Walt Disney International in a prepared statement. “In the appointment of Catherine we have a terrific executive who keenly understands the future of the media industry. Her digital skills combined with exceptional management acumen and collaborative approach will make her a great leader for this region.”