Catherine Powell Named Managing Director of Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand

She will relocate from London in July for her new position, replacing the retiring John Cracknell.

SYDNEY – Catherine Powell, general manager of Disney Distribution for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will relocate from London to Australia in July to take up the new post of managing director at The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand. 

Powell will replace veteran John Cracknell, who announced his retirement this week after more than 20 years with the company.

She will lead the company’s activities in Australia and New Zealand, encompassing film, TV and home entertainment distribution and the management of the group's TV channels. She will be responsible for “driving the company’s strategy, coordinating and leading all company business divisions, overseeing Disney global franchises, expanding existing businesses and seeking out new business opportunities in this region," according to a statement.

Powell will be based in the Sydney office, reporting to Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International.

Powell has been with Disney for nearly 10 years, joining the company in 2004 following senior management roles at BBC Worldwide covering TV sales for central and eastern Europe and the Middle East.

“In the appointment of Catherine we have a terrific executive who keenly understands the future of the media industry. Her digital skills combined with exceptional management acumen and collaborative approach will make her a great leader for this region,” Bird said in a statement.

“For 23 years, John has displayed amazing commitment and dedication to the business, has created a world class team and in rising to the challenges of our industry, leaves The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand in excellent shape,” he added.