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Disney Shifts to Global Home Entertainment Unit

14 Aug, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Bob Chapek

A month after combining its domestic and international home entertainment divisions into a new global business unit, Walt Disney Studios Monday announced sweeping internal changes to manage and operate what is now known as Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment.

The changes were announced by Bob Chapek, the former domestic home video chief who in mid-July was named president of worldwide home entertainment.

Chapek will lead the new division along with Pat Fitzgerald, EVP of worldwide sales, distribution and trade marketing; Gordon Ho, EVP of worldwide marketing, creative content and business development; Richard Ramsey, VP of worldwide human resources and communications; and Kristin McQueen, SVP of worldwide business and legal affairs.

In addition, Bill Segil will fill the newly created position of SVP, worldwide operations. He will broaden his operational scope to include all worldwide supply chain strategies under Fitzgerald.

Also, Andy Siditsky has been named SVP of worldwide creative services and DVD production.

Eric Maehara will serve as VP of worldwide communications and will manage worldwide publicity, along with trade and home entertainment communications, under Ramsey.

“With the rapidly changing landscape facing the home entertainment industry, we need to embrace not only new technologies but the global nature of our business as well,” Chapek said. “This new organization addresses the need for global strategies and allows for market customization.”

In addition to the worldwide team, the new division will incorporate regional teams to manage day-to-day operations in their respective markets. Lori MacPherson has been named GM for North America, with Daniel Solnicki serving as GM for Asia Pacific and Latin America and Julie Sneddon continuing her position as GM for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The reorganization follows a series of changes at the Hollywood studios' home entertainment divisions as the business becomes increasingly global and digital.

Perhaps the most pronounced change was made last October at Warner Bros., which formed an umbrella group for all its business units involved in the digital delivery of entertainment to consumers, including home video, online, wireless, games, anti-piracy and emerging technologies operations.

The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group is led by Kevin Tsujihara, who reports directly to Warner Bros.' two top executives, chairman and CEO Barry Meyer and president and COO Alan Horn.

Chapek, too, reports directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook.

“Entertainment is a rapidly changing business. With our dynamic and talented team in place, we are poised to maximize our opportunities across the globe,” Chapek said.

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