Disney+ hires Media Prima's Ahmad Izham Omar as creative chief

The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia has appointed former CEO of Primeworks Studios Ahmad Izham Omar as its executive director of content and creative for Disney+. In his new role based in Singapore, Izham will be tasked to build “a world-class portfolio” of TV series and movies for Disney+ in Southeast Asia.

Izham (pictured) will be responsible for developing and producing original programming, as well as acquiring content and ensuring end-to-end title launch readiness. He will also oversee the production of surround content for major sports and general entertainment programs. Izham will report to Amit Malhotra, regional lead, emerging markets, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific.

Izham was previously from Media Prima, where he was CEO of Primeworks Studios. During his time there, Izham was the first executive producer of Ejen Ali The Movie, as well as the executive producer and co-screenwriter of Pulang. Izham previously led Media Prima Television Networks before being promoted to his current role. According to the company, Izham has contributed immensely to Media Prima. He was first brought in to launch 8TV, rolling out numerous hit programmes including Malaysian Idol, Shout! Awards and 8 E-News. He was involved in the set-up and launching of Media Prima Radio Networks (now known as RIPPLE) and launched Media Prima’s over-the-top platform, tonton.

Izham joins the team at an important juncture when Disney+ is expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia. According to Amit, Izham’s strategic vision, breadth of experience and outstanding leadership will be key in steering Disney’s creative engine and delighting subscribers with the magic of our storytelling.  “Izham is a proven leader in the entertainment and media space, and a man of exceptional talents,” Amit said.

Earlier in October, Disney said it is "strategically positioning" itself to more effectively support its growth strategy and increase shareholder value, given Disney+'s success. It reorganised its media and entertainment businesses, following "tremendous success" achieved in the company’s direct-to-consumer business, and looks to further accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy.

Under the new structure, Disney will focus on developing and producing original content for the company’s streaming services and legacy platforms, while distribution and commercialisation activities will be centralised into a single, global media and entertainment distribution group. The newly-created group will be responsible for all monetisation of content for both distribution and ad sales, and will oversee operations of Disney's streaming services. The media and entertainment distribution group is headed by Kareem Daniel, who was formerly president, consumer products, games and publishing. 

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