Underscoring the growing importance of Asia to The Walt Disney Company’s global growth strategy, Paul Candland has been named to the newly created position of president, The Walt Disney Company, Asia, with oversight of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Greater China. Mr. Candland, a 16-year Disney veteran and president of Walt Disney Japan, will be responsible for driving the company’s strategy and coordinating all of its business efforts in Asia. He will report directly to Andy Bird, chairman Walt Disney International. Rob Gilby, managing director, TWDC South East Asia, will report to Mr. Candland.
In addition, Stanley Cheung, managing director of TWDC Greater China, has been promoted to chairman of TWDC Greater China, reporting to Mr. Bird. Senior vice president Luke Kang will assume Mr. Cheung’s former role as managing director of TWDC Greater China. Mr. Kang will report to both Mr. Cheung and Mr. Candland and will have direct oversight of Disney’s businesses in Greater China, excluding Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, which report to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.
“Asia is a region of incredible growth and great promise for Disney, and these management changes are designed to ensure we maximize our opportunities there today and in the future,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive of The Walt Disney Company. “This new structure will bring greater focus and the ability to share best practices across businesses and countries as we grow strategically in Asian markets.”
“Under Paul’s leadership, we will be able to accelerate our businesses in Greater China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia,” Mr. Bird said. “He has done an amazing job of expanding our business in Japan, delivering double-digit growth across all business segments, particularly with the success of Disney Mobile, Gaming, Disney Stores and Disney Consumer Products, and the launch of DLife, our channel serving young adult female audiences.”
Mr. Candland joined Disney in 1998 as representative director and general manager of Disney Store Japan, overseeing operations at some 80 locations. In 2002, he became managing director of Walt Disney Television International (Japan), and was responsible for launching both the Disney Channel and Toon Disney in Japan. In 2007 he was named president of TWDC Japan. Prior to joining Disney, Mr. Candland worked at Pepsi-Cola Co. for more than 10 years. In 1994 he was named president of Okinawa Pepsi-Cola, and subsequently served as the Japan representative for Pepsi-Cola International. Mr. Candland holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University.
In announcing the promotions of Mr. Cheung and Mr. Kang in Greater China, Mr. Bird pointed to the rapid growth of Disney’s business in the region. “It is my belief that Greater China will become our biggest international market in the coming years. Today, China is one of our biggest markets for the Studio, and we have a well-established Disney Consumer Products and TV distribution business. The rapid emergence of mobile and digital platforms provides even more opportunities for us, and construction is underway for the largest Disney Store in the world and, of course, Shanghai Disney Resort.” Mr. Bird added, “With all of this in mind, and considering the unique manner of doing business in China, I decided to support Stanley’s leadership and vision with Luke’s proven ability to effectively manage our businesses.”
Mr. Cheung was named managing director of TWDC China in 2004, and has been responsible for driving the company’s strategy and coordinating its business efforts in China. He joined Disney from Johnson & Johnson (China) Ltd., where he served as managing director. From 1996-2001, Mr. Cheung worked for Pillsbury Co. in Shanghai, serving in a series of positions culminating in managing director, North Asia. Previously, Mr. Cheung worked for the China division of Pepsi-Cola International. He started his career with Proctor & Gamble. Mr. Cheung holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and an MBA from Indiana University.
Mr. Kang joined Disney in 2011 as senior vice president and managing director of The Walt Disney Company (Korea) Ltd. Prior to Disney, Mr. Kang was chief operating officer at Live 365, an internet radio company based in Silicon Valley. He also held various senior management roles at MTV Networks in Asia Pacific, including senior vice president of strategy and business development for Asia Pacific, head of Asia Pacific digital media, and managing director of Korea. From 1996 to 2000 he worked as a management consultant for Monitor Group Asia Pacific Region, and he was an analyst at the Ministry of Finance & Economy of the Republic of Korea from 1995 to 1996. Mr. Kang holds a master’s degree in management as a Sloan Fellow from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.