Disney creates new int'l units

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As part of an effort to expand its international presence, The Walt Disney Co. has named four executives to newly created international posts as the entertainment company introduces a regional rather than a functional structure. The four executives report to Bob Iger, president of Walt Disney International.

The executives and their new posts are:

-- Etienne de Villiers, 49, president and managing director of Walt Disney International Europe;
--Michael Johnson, 44, president and managing director of Walt Disney International Asia;
--Diego Lerner, 43, president and managing director of Walt Disney International Latin America;
--and Paul Saleh, 42, senior VP-president and CFO, Walt Disney International.

Mr. Iger said, "The Walt Disney Co. already has established a significant and wide-ranging international presence. As we seek to expand globally and explore the vast potential for continued growth worldwide, we must be organized to take advantage of our strengths and our brand.''

Headquarters for the respective regional offices will be in London, Tokyo and Buenos Aires.

Mr. de Villiers, a 14-year Disney veteran, has been president of Walt Disney Television International since 1994, where he was responsible for international free, pay and pay-per-view TV. Under his leadership, eight Disney Channels have been launched internationally.

Mr. Johnson joined Disney in 1986 and has been president of Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment since 1997, when the U.S. organization was merged into the international home video group he had headed since 1992.

Mr. Lerner joined Disney in 1988 and has been exec VP for Buena Vista International and Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Latin America.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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