Sean Bailey named Disney production head

Producer currently working on 'Tron: Legacy'

Disney studio chairman Rich Ross on Thursday tapped a young producer on the company's Burbank lot as its next film production president.

Sean Bailey -- a Disney-based producer currently producing the sci-fi remake "Tron Legacy" -- was named to replace recently ousted Oren Aviv as president of production at Walt Disney Studios. Bailey will oversee all aspects of live-action development, film production and physical production for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.

Bailey surfaced as a lead candidate for the job on Wednesday. In announcing his appointment, Disney noted that "additional changes to international theatrical distribution, multicultural initiatives, publicity, communications and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment" were in the works.

"Building upon a strong foundation with the company, Sean brings great creative instincts and considerable filmmaking experience to his new role," Ross said. "His close relationships throughout the creative community and industry at large make him an ideal leader to set the direction of TWDS' future film slates. Sean's talent, energy, and commitment to delivering quality content will help us achieve our goals of producing and distributing Disney-branded movies that entertain audiences worldwide."

Said Bailey: "I am honored and thrilled to join a company with the history and tradition of the Walt Disney Studios. Working with the strong team that has been assembled under Rich's leadership, I look forward to working with the Studios' impressive array of talented filmmakers to create entertaining, inspiring films that uphold the legacy and quality of classic Disney movies and capture the imagination of our global audiences."

Bailey's other feature film producing credits include "Matchstick Men" and "Gone Baby Gone."

He is the founder and president of production company Idealogy Inc. He also co-founded the media firm LivePlanet with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore and was the exec producer of several TV series, including "Project Greenlight."

As part of the Disney reorganization, the studio also announced that longtime Disney exec Chuck Viane, currently president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, will take on all aspects of international sales and distribution in addition to overseeing domestic distribution. He will report to Bob Chapek, president of distribution for the Walt Disney Studios.

Other execs taking on new roles include Christine Cadena, currently senior vp marketing, synergy and franchise development, who is becoming senior vp multicultural intiatives in charge of the studio's diversity efforts.

Michelle Sewell has been promoted to senior vp global publicity and will oversee the domestic and international publicity departments. She will report to the head of marketing, a position that is currently open.

John Nicoletti is becoming vp global communications, and Paul Roeder moves to director of global communications. Heidi Trotta, who has been serving as senior vp studio communications, will serve as a consultant during the transition.

Cadena, Nicoletti and Trotta will report to Ross.

"I'm fortunate that I have been able to access the deep talent pool within the studio and throughout the Walt Disney Co.," Ross said.
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