The Walt Disney Company today announced the appointment of Kylie Watson-Wheeler as SVP & managing director for The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, effective July 1.
Watson-Wheeler will report to chairman of Walt Disney International, Andy Bird, as she takes on the role previously held by Catherine Powell, who recently relocated to France as President, Euro Disney S.A.S., the management company of Disneyland Resort Paris.
Overseeing a business which is experiencing significant growth, Watson-Wheeler will lead Disney’s activities in Australia and New Zealand, encompassing Film, TV, Digital, Consumer Products and Home Entertainment distribution and the management of the group’s TV channels.
She will be responsible for driving the company’s strategy, coordinating and leading all company business divisions, overseeing Disney global franchises, expanding existing businesses and seeking out new business opportunities in this region.
“Kylie’s proven track record and passion for Disney has made her a successful leader in our business for over 12 years. She understands the value an integrated organisation can deliver to consumers, partners and her team,” said Bird.
Watson-Wheeler joined Disney 12 years ago and brings broad-based expertise from multiple business areas including consumer products, marketing, sales and theatrical distribution. She joined the company in 2004, leading both the consumer products and sales teams in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2013 she also served as Disney’s chief marketing officer in this region. Prior to this new role, Watson-Wheeler was VP and GM for consumer products and retail, where she was responsible for driving Disney’s businesses across fashion, apparel, toys, interactive games and digital products, home décor, books, magazines, stationery and FMCG products, while also directing Disney’s retail sales strategy across all businesses including home entertainment, e-commerce and direct-to-retail programs.
Previously, Kylie was director of advertising and brand management for Hallmark Cards, Inc., based at the company’s head office in Kansas City. She also has held various marketing positions at Coca-Cola Amatil and Penguin Books.