Aardman's Stephen Moore joins Disney

Will head ops in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada

LONDON -- Disney has brought in former Aardman Entertainment COO and head of features Stephen Moore to run its channel and distribution operations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada. He replaces Tom Toumazis, who left to join Endemol last year.

Reporting to Ben Pyne, president of global distribution for Disney-ABC Worldwide Television and Disney Media Networks, Moore will become executive vp and managing director Disney-ABC-ESPN Television, taking up the London-based post at the end of February.

He will oversee licensing deals for such key Disney franchises as "Lost," "High School Musical," "Hannah Montana" and "Desperate Housewives" as well as distribution for a range of channels including Disney Channel, Disney Cinemagic, Jetix and ESPN. He'll also be charged with growing Disney-ABC-ESPN Television's channel and content distribution business across all platforms.

Most recently, Moore was a partner at the privately owned pre-school distributor Abbey Home Media, which licenses such characters as "Horrid Henry" and "Paddington Bear." Prior to that, he was chief operating officer at "Wallace & Gromit" creator Aardman Animations (until 2007) and before that president of Twentieth Century Fox International, where he oversaw international theatrical and home entertainment across 106 countries.

Pyne said that Moore will deliver on Disney's ambitious international growth plans.

"I'm delighted to welcome Stephen to the Walt Disney Co., where his wealth of experience in distributing the highest standards of creative content across global markets makes him an ideal fit to drive our business to further success," Pyne said.