John Hardie named chief exec of U.K.'s ITN

Head of Disney's European channels to leave in June

LONDON -- Less than two months after assuming the CEO title at kids channel group Jetix, Disney's European channel operations boss John Hardie is leaving the studio to take the top job at British-based news producer ITN.

Hardie, who will leave Disney formally in June, has been executive vp and managing director of Walt Disney Television across Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2005.

He is being replaced by Giorgio Stock, head of Disney channel operations in Italy, who will take over Hardie's position and title, overseeing a portfolio of channels that includes Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney, Disney XD and Cinemagic across the EMEA territory.

Stock also will serve as a Disney representative on the board of SRTL, Disney's joint-channel venture with RTL Group.

Stock, who joined Disney in 1997, will relocate from Milan to London, reporting to Diego Lerner, newly installed president of the Walt Disney Co. for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"Giorgio is a highly respected, superb executive who brings a wealth of experience to the job," Lerner said. "I have always been impressed by John Hardie and wish him every future success."