Walt Disney Attractions has poached Air Liberté marketing and communications director William Morris to oversee its marketing across continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Morris took up the new sales and marketing director position last week and reports to Tom Allen, vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Walt Disney Attractions.
He will not be responsible for marketing in the UK, which is overseen by Stephen Park. The UK is Disney’s most established market outside the US.
A spokeswoman for Disney says it is too early to give details on Morris’ marketing plans.
Morris’ appointment completes a new Walt Disney Attractions division devoted to continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It has been put in place to promote Disney’s theme parks and cruises outside the US market.
Disney has suffered two successive annual profit declines, reporting a 27 per cent profits slide to $1.4bn (&£864m) for the year until September 30, 1999.
It generates about 15 per cent of turnover from overseas and is looking to increase profits through international expansion.
Meanwhile, a new UK division of the Walt Disney Travel Company launches in spring this year. This will sell Disney-branded package holidays incorporating its theme parks in Florida and Canada and trips on Disney cruises.
Alisdair Farrimond is marketing manager of the new travel company. He joined three months ago from Universal Studios, where he was a marketing executive.
The Walt Disney Travel Company will work alongside tour operators, which will continue to include Disney products in their own package holidays.