×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney Splits Asia Regional Management in Two

Disney has given its operations in Asia a major revamp. At Walt Disney International it is merging its operations in Japan, South Korea and Greater China into a new regional hub covering North Asia.

Similarly, it is pooling businesses in India with those of South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam) into a new South Asia grouping.

Walt Disney International is the division that covers management of all Disney businesses outside North America, but excludes theme parks and ESPN. The new structure replaces a pan-Asia organization that was previously headed by Paul Candland. He is expected to head into retirement after some 19 years with Disney.

The North Asia hub will be managed by Luke Kang, who has headed Greater China for Disney since 2014. The South Asia hub is to be headed from Oct. 1 by Mahesh Samat, who rejoined Disney as head of India in November 2016. (He was previously India head in 2008-12.) Both report to Andy Bird, chairman of WDI.

“This new structure aligns and maximizes efficiencies around regions with similar opportunities and creates the momentum to accelerate growth for the company in these markets,” said Bird in a statement.
Shanghai-based Kang will split his time across Greater China, Korea and Japan. Samat will split his time between Mumbai and Singapore. While the company will still maintain country managers in each of the South East Asian territories, Rob Gilby who headed SE Asia from Singapore will be leaving the company.

While splitting the vast and diverse Asia region into more manageable proportions, new groupings still cover significant differences in scale, development and structure. In 2016, Disney was the number one foreign studio at the Chinese box office, and has also expanded its reach into new cities and to new consumer groups across China. In Japan and Korea, Hollywood content is well-established but has been overtaken by dynamic local content models. In South Asia, there is stark contrast between India (vast and complicated market with still developing infrastructure), while Singapore is closer in consumer behavior to developed English-language territories elsewhere, albeit with a persistently high piracy problem.

“It is an honor to lead Walt Disney International in North Asia, which includes two of the biggest and most dynamic economies in the world.  The region’s ever-changing media and entertainment landscape as well as dynamic consumer products market provides incredible opportunity to continue to forge connections with our brands and franchises to drive growth,” said Kang in a prepared statement.

“The South East Asian region is characterized by its dynamic growth and extreme diversity. I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead both teams to create new, innovative ways for audiences to engage with our stories, brands and characters, and drive growth across our businesses,” said Samat.

More Biz

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Hires New Lawyers Who Repped Kobe Bryant and Rose McGowan

    Harvey Weinstein has hired a new legal team to handle his rape and sexual assault case in New York, including attorneys who represented one of his most prominent accusers, actress Rose McGowan. Weinstein has hired Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan, of the Baez Law Firm in Miami; Pamela Mackey of Denver, Colo.; and Duncan Levin, [...]

  • Bryan Singer: New Allegations of Sex

    Bryan Singer Hit With Fresh Allegations of Sex With Underage Boys

    UPDATED: Bryan Singer, the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” has responded to new allegations published in the Atlantic on Wednesday that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys. In the report, four men allege that Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s. One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, [...]

  • 'Zootopia' Land Coming to Shanghai Disneyland

    Disney to Open 'Zootopia' Land at Shanghai Theme Park

    The Shanghai Disneyland theme park is to be expanded with the construction of a themed land based on the “Zootopia” animated film and its characters. It will be the first “Zootopia” land at any Disney park worldwide. “The rapid rate of expansion at Shanghai Disney Resort demonstrates our confidence and commitment to the company’s future [...]

  • David Glasser

    David Glasser to Launch $300 Million Shingle With Ron Burkle's Backing (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Glasser, the former chief operating officer of the Weinstein Co., is launching a $300 million film and TV company with the backing of billionaire investor Ron Burkle, Variety has learned. The formation of the production outfit, named 101 Studios, marks a fresh start for Glasser, who was in line to become CEO of the [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York

    Judge Refuses to Pause Weinstein Class Action Case

    A judge on Tuesday denied Harvey Weinstein’s request to put a class action lawsuit on hold pending the outcome of his criminal trial. Ten women have sued Weinstein in federal court in the Southern District of New York, accusing him of violating the federal sex trafficking statute. The suit also alleges that an array of [...]

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Atlantic Records Elevates Andrea Ganis to President of Promotion

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

  • Roma

    Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that reflects its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content