Disney makes key appointments


disneyThe Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand has appointed current CMO, Kylie Watson-Wheeler, as GM of licensing and retail sales, and Jo Bladen as GM for studios in Australia and New Zealand, effective February 16.

Watson-Wheeler previously served as GM of retail sales, where she oversaw sales management and strategy across all Disney businesses.Prior to that,Watson-Wheeler served as GM, licensing, with oversight of Disney consumer products, publishing and games.

For the past 18 months,Watson-Wheeler has served as CMO, and will now move over to lead the combined licensing and retail sales functions. She has held several leadership roles in ANZ during her more than 11 years at The Walt Disney Company.

Watson-Wheeler also held the position of director of Walt Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) for Australia and New Zealand, South East Asia, India, and Korea, and spent four years as marketing director for Hallmark Cards in the US.

“Disney’s licensing and retail businesses are of critical importance because of the opportunities they provide us to connect with consumers and bring our brands and franchises to life,” said Catherine Powell, MD, The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand.

“Kylie has an extensive understanding of both areas of the businesses, and she can apply the experience she gained during her tenure as CMO to help us further enhance our retail and licensing partnerships and experiences,” Powell said.

As GM for studios in Australia and New Zealand, Jo Bladen will serve as lead for both Motion Pictures and Home Entertainment, working in partnership with Retail Sales for distribution of physical product.

Bladen previously served as marketing director for Walt Disney Home Entertainment in the UK and as European media director, before moving to Australia in 2011 to serve as marketing director for Walt Disney Studios in ANZ.  Prior to joining Disney, Bladen worked for SEGA Europe in games marketing.

“With 17 years in Disney’s Studios business across Europe and Australia, Jo brings a wealth of experience to this critical role. Our film slate has never been stronger and having a dedicated studios lead gives the focus the business deserves, from executing the best possible release to optimising sales across windows, all the while maximising the impact of our franchise properties,” Powell said.

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