The hiring was jointly announced Thursday by CEO Dina Benadon and president and creative director Brent Young. Williams, who was a longtime senior Disney exec, will report directly to Benadon and Young, oversee the day-to-day growth and operations and manage overall branding and positioning of Super 78.
Williams will also focus on the company’s “live” animation production tool, Geppetto; its collaboration platform tool, Mushroom VR; High Capacity VR Attraction “Reef Rescue”; and the product growth and distribution for O-zell Soda, a beverage created a century ago by Walt Disney’s father Elias Disney which Benadon and Young have resurrected.
Williams will also work alongside Benadon and Young to further develop the non-profit initiative CECCI: The Center for Early Childhood Creativity and Innovation located at the Walt Disney Birthplace in Chicago and owned by Benadon and Young.
“As we look to the next 20 years of Super 78 with our roots firmly planted in the theme park attraction and experience design space, we are thrilled to have Jay join our team and expand the growth of our studio along with our growing portfolio of IP and brands.”
Young said, “Dina and I have known Jay for many years and we are excited to have him officially become part of the Super 78 family. It is rare to find an executive with such a diverse background – ranging from over two decades of creative experience in Disney Theme Parks to motion picture and television marketing to producing…we hit the jackpot with Jay!”
Williams was an executive producer on “Sleepy Hollow Virtual Reality Experience,” which won an Emmy in 2015 in the outstanding creative achievement in interactive media user experience and visual design. He was recently nominated for his second Emmy, for his work on the “The Walking Dead” digital series “Red Machete” which was nominated for outstanding short form comedy or drama series in 2018.
Before that, he served as president K/O Paper Products working along side Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and co-founded Sneaky Shark with Roberto Orci where they produced “Star Trek Beyond” in 2016. Williams spent nearly two decades as a senior executive for The Walt Disney Co., helping to launch Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Paris Resort and the Disney Cruise Line. He also worked on over 200 motion picture campaigns including “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
“Brent and Dina are talented leaders; they’ve built an amazing and unique company with a team of creative minds,” Williams said. “As entertainment becomes more direct to consumer and immersive, I’m excited to be part of the team bringing a diverse portfolio of IP and technology to market and investors.”