Andy Bird leaves Warners TBS International to join Walt Disney as the new president of Walt Disney International effective January 12, 2004. The U.K. native will be based in Burbank, California.
From a strategic perspective, one of Disneys most significant long-term growth opportunities resides in markets outside of the United States, and it is crucial that the company continue to have a well-coordinated approach to business development around the world, said Michael Eisner, Disney chairman/ceo.
Andy is a talented executive with strong media, entertainment and business experience who has built businesses in Europe, Latin America and Asia, added Robert Iger, Disney president/coo. Andy brings a diverse portfolio of skills and experiences that, coupled with the strength of Disneys existing International team, will allow us to capitalize on the business development and further growth opportunities in markets around the world.
Bird will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing growth opportunities for Disney outside the U.S., and for targeting new businesses, growing and increasing penetration of existing businesses, and leading the development of business and operations in emerging markets.
Bird joined Time Warner, in 1994 as svp/gm of Turner Entertainment Networks Ltd., the TBS Europe arm that produced Cartoon Network, which he helped grow to 13 channels across Europe from one. He rose to president of TBS International in 2000, and became responsible for all TBS broadcasting outside of the continental U.S. In addition, he was leading a new initiative for Time Warner in the wireless arena.
Bird started his career with Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, England, as breakfast show producer. After that, Bird moved to London to join the Virgin Broadcasting working at Music Box, a Pan-European music channel. Bird helped launch and program a satellite-delivered national radio service called Radio Radio, where he produced radio shows for leading comedians and television presenters.
Between 1989 and 1994, Bird helped start a music channel, producing and directing a popular London-based morning TV program as well as a Saturday morning childrens TV show. In 1992, Bird was tapped by Unique Broadcasting in the U.K. to start up and operate Unique Television.