Walt Disney's Latin America business underwent a similar integration under Lerner, who introduced a number of initiatives, including Disney pay-tv, the Disney Channel and Disney Radio in Spanish and children's websites Playhouse Disney and Jetix.

Lerner will remain president of Disney's Latin America operations, however day-to-day responsibilities will fall under chief operating and chief financial officer Claudio Chiaromonte.

Bird said: "Expansion in international markets is a key strategic priority for Disney, and Diego's proven ability to nurture and grow Disney's businesses makes him an ideal choice for this new position as we accelerate our efforts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa."

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