Disney restructures APAC team to serve 'strategic agenda' in local markets

Uday Shankar (pictured), chairman, Star and Disney India, and president, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific, has unveiled a new the direct-to-consumer and international (DTCI) Asia Pacific leadership team following the US$71.3 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox.

According to a memo sent out internally, Shankar said the restructure will enable Disney to serve the "strategic agenda" in each market and enable its leaders to build a more successful business. The restructure will also aid its transformation into a DTCI company that "rests on deep local foundations". He added that the company recognises "the need for a sharp focus on building deeply local businesses" and to achieve this, it is "making some changes" to the current structure. The aim, he added is to transform into a direct-to-consumer company.

As part of the restructure, Disney's country head for Singapore and Malaysia, Amit Malhotra, will lead emerging markets and content sales for Asia Pacific except North Asia. As part of his new role, he will also report to Janice Marinelli, president, global content sales and distribution of DTCI. Meanwhile, Zubin Gandevia, president, Asia Pacific and Middle East, is leaving the company but will remain for "a period of time" to help transition the leadership of media networks in Southeast Asia.

Kurt Rieder, FOX's international executive vice president, theatrical, Asia Pacific will now lead the studio business for the region except India, working closely with the regional business leaders to drive growth. In North Asia, Luke Kang will continue to lead the business covering Greater China, Japan and Korea, including direct country management of Mainland China and Japan.

This comes a few months after the DTCI segment restructured its consolidated international business units in December last year as part of the integration planning for the acquisition of FOX. The completion of the acquisition sees DTCI’s international operating structure and executive management include Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe, Middle East and Africa.