Euro Disney S.C.A. today announced the nomination of Catherine Powell to the position of Président of Euro Disney S.A.S., the management company of both Euro Disney S.C.A., the holding company, and Euro Disney Associés S.C.A., the operator of Disneyland® Paris.
Catherine Powell will replace Tom Wolber, who will return to the United States to take on operational responsibilities of the Disney Cruise Line.
“We are thrilled to welcome Catherine to Disneyland Paris,” said Karl Holz, president of New Vacation Operations and Disney Cruise Line. “Catherine has held a variety of senior leadership roles throughout the world for Disney, including in Australia and Europe, and has proven to be an exceptional leader who has the versatility and experience needed to lead the continued success of Disneyland Paris.”
Powell replaces Tom Wolber, who will return to the United States to take on operational responsibilities of Disney Cruise Line at a critical time for that business. Disney recently announced it is adding two additional ships to the Disney Cruise Line fleet. “Tom’s knowledge of shipbuilding is unparalleled, as he previously oversaw a number of complex expansion projects including the successful launches of the Disney cruise ships the Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
We are grateful for his many contributions in Paris and are anxious to have him back at the Cruise Line to oversee our latest expansion,” said Holz. “On behalf of my fellow Supervisory Board members, I would like to thank Tom for his thoughtful leadership of Euro Disney and his dedication to the resort, its Cast Members and all of the Guests who have visited Disneyland Paris,” said Virginie Calmels, chairman of Euro Disney Supervisory Board. “We are excited to welcome Catherine back to Europe and especially to Euro Disney and look forward to her continued success in her new role.”
Catherine Powell will begin her new assignment in July 2016. In the meantime, Tom and Catherine will transition the responsibilities to ensure continued commitment to the company’s long-term strategic priorities.
British expat Catherine who studied at Oxford University currently serves as the company’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand and has more than 12 years of experience in global roles throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In her most recent role, she has been responsible for leading all of Disney’s business divisions, overseeing global franchises, and expanding existing and new business in the region.
Powell previously led the Media Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Previously, she served as Disney Media Distribution’s senior vice president, Sales – UK, Ireland, Nordic, Benelux and Israel; and prior to that, the executive director – Sales, UK and Ireland. Before joining Disney, Catherine worked for BBC Worldwide for seven years, where she held various senior TV sales roles across territories including Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Germany and Spain/Portugal.
Powell is a Disney veteran who as Senior Vice President and General manager of Disney Media Distribution for The Walt Disney Company EMEA, pioneered a single Walt Disney Company approach to delivering content across platforms.
She set pan-regional strategies for Disney’s branded channels, content and digital distribution for movies, television programming, games, music, e-books and apps. The company said Powell has a deep understanding of all of the Walt Disney Company’s brands, including Disney*Pixar, ABC Studios, Marvel and Disney.
As Managing Director for The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand, Catherine Powell reported to the Chairman of Walt Disney International, a company with revenues of $45 billion. She is responsible for driving the company’s strategy, coordinating and leading all company business divisions, overseeing global franchises, expanding existing businesses and seeking out new business opportunities.
In her time with Disney, Catherine has been at the forefront of change. She has promoted implementation of the company’s digital strategy and ensured Disney has kept pace with the latest technical developments. Catherine understands where the media and entertainment industry is now, where it is headed and the critical intersection of content and creativity with technology and platforms.
Catherine has demonstrated consistent leadership throughout her career, rising quickly through the ranks at the BBC and The Walt Disney Company. She started at the BBC as a sales executive and, within six years was leading Sales in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, including the development of local productions within the region. Catherine then moved to Disney, leading Sales in the UK and Eire before moving on to become General Manager, Media Distribution, for the region.
Catherine has mentored many women at all stages of their careers. Half of her direct reports are women, with many of those running major commercial areas for the company. Catherine is a member of the CEO Forum in Austrailia and regularly speaks at women-focused events in the country.