disney channels logoUPDATE: Hollywood is buzzing this morning as Disney made another unexpected in-house management move. It had been assumed that Disney Channels Worldwide entertainment president Gary Marsh would take over from his boss Rich Ross to head the whole she-bang. After all, Marsh has spearheaded Disney’s lucrative franchises including Hannah Montana and High School Musical among other successes and has been considered a golden boy within Disney. But nooooooooooooo. Instead, Latin American VP and chief marketing officer Carolina Lightcap was leapfrogged over him. Heck, she was working out of Buenos Aires, not even Burbank. As a sop, Marsh gets an extra title, Chief Creative Officer, which is relatively meaningless since he still has to report to Lightcap:

Burbank, Tuesday, November 24, 2009 — Carolina Lightcap has been promoted to President, Disney Channels Worldwide, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, Co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom she will report. A highly-regarded executive with more than 20 years in the media/entertainment industry, Ms. Lightcap joined The Walt Disney Company in 2000 and most recently served in the dual roles of senior Vice President, Programming and Creative Affairs, Disney Channels Latin America, and Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Latin America. She will assume her new position within the Disney/ABC Television Group effective immediately and will relocate from Buenos Aires to Burbank.

A versatile and well-regarded executive who, during her career, has been based in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, Ms. Lightcap will be charged with shepherding Disney Channels Worldwide, the global leader in kid-focused, family-inclusive entertainment, through its next period of growth. The Disney Channel global executive team representing Programming and Production, Business Affairs, Business Planning and Development, Marketing, Brand Management, Advertising Sales and Radio Disney, will report to her.

And in recognition of his extraordinary and continuing contribution, Gary Marsh will assume the new title of Chief Creative Officer in addition to his current title of President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, remaining in charge of all program development, creative and production, reporting to Ms. Lightcap.

In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated: “Carolina has made enormous contributions to Disney over the past decade, especially in launching and building Disney Channel Latin America into the #1 cable channel in the region. She’s a highly respected member of our global team and her wealth of experience, leadership acumen and programming, marketing and franchise building skills make her the ideal executive to lead Disney Channels Worldwide into the future.”

Ms. Lightcap added: “I’m thrilled and honored that Anne has entrusted me with this incredible opportunity. During the 10 years I’ve worked at The Walt Disney Company, I’ve had the pleasure of leading a team that took Disney Channel Latin America to number one. Now I’m looking forward to working with the unparalleled talent at Disney Channels Worldwide as we create the future of kid-focused, family inclusive entertainment.”

In commenting on Mr. Marsh, Ms. Sweeney said: “Gary is the creative force behind Disney Channel’s tremendous success and some of The Walt Disney Company’s most heralded and popular franchises including ‘Hannah Montana’ and ‘High School Musical.’ His unique vision helped define Disney Channel as a global leader in kid and family entertainment while fueling a content bonanza for other areas of our Company.” She continued, “With Gary’s creative vision and Carolina’s leadership, I have no doubt Disney Channel will remain at the forefront of our industry for years to come.”

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