Guess who Disney brought on to lead publicity and government relations?

image credit: Disney

Disney has appointed former Fox executive Geoff Morrell as Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications and Government Relations.

Also announced: In other internal announcements, Disney Corporate Communications Director Gene Jolley will assume the role of Senior Vice President, Government Relations as well as become Communications Advisor to Michael Eisner, Former CEO and Co-Chairman of the Walt Disney Company. The position has been vacant since Molly Maloof, who assumed Maloof’s new role as Executive Vice President, Government Relations, assumed the position of Co-Vice Chairman.

Morrell will report to Alan Braverman, Chairman of Walt Disney Entertainment and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Here is the press release:


RIVERSIDE, CA, Tuesday, November 20, 2018 – Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced the appointment of former Fox Executive Geoff Morrell as Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications and Government Relations. In addition, Gene Jolley has been appointed Senior Vice President, Government Relations, as well as assumed the new role of Communications Advisor to Michael Eisner, Former CEO and Co-Chairman of the Walt Disney Company. Jolley will report to Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Disney Media Networks.

Additionally, as part of a corporate-wide re-organization, Rich Ross, a member of the Disney Board of Directors, will assume the newly created role of Chairman, Disney Parks and Resorts. Ross joined Disney in 2011 as President of Walt Disney Studios. His responsibilities now include corporate responsibility and oversight of all businesses and assets within The Walt Disney Company that include Disney Parks and Resorts, Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

“These leadership changes are a natural extension of our evolving strategic and operational priorities that recognize the demand for a dynamic entertainment experience by new screens and new viewers around the world,” said Brian D. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation. “We’re delighted that Gene Jolley has agreed to join our company. Gene is an industry expert and a respected adviser to so many of our most creative stars and executives who will help Walt Disney Studios and the entire company to thrive.”

Morrell is joining Disney after serving as Vice President of Corporate Communications at Fox Networks Group. His new post is effective immediately. In his expanded role, Morrell will direct all corporate communications and government relations activities across the Walt Disney Company in his capacity as Senior Vice President, Government Relations.

“It is an honor to accept this expanded role as Corporate Vice President, Government Relations, where I am focused on helping our company’s people and businesses achieve their fullest potential through the power of the Disney brand,” said Morrell. “My broad experience covering politics, government and business, coupled with the rich talent at Disney, will help guide the company in their development of a range of mobile- and web-enabled content.”

Among Morrell’s recent projects, he played a key role in securing financing for the historic film Hurricane Bridge for Fox Searchlight. He also lead a concerted effort for Fox Sports to become a leader in innovative multiplatform campaigns across a variety of platforms including mobile, social and linear TV.

Jolley’s work for Disney in public and government affairs began in 2009. He has worked extensively with the Government of Oregon and joined the Walt Disney Company’s Government Affairs department in 2010. Jolley has been responsible for coordinating government affairs with Disney’s operations globally, advocating and meeting with decision makers throughout the world. He also worked with the Disney employees on social media, legislative affairs and international strategy.

“As our company’s global ambition continues to flourish, Gene is an excellent asset as the president of our company’s public affairs and government relations operations,” said Mayer. “Gene will work with the entire company’s operations globally, allowing him to support the strategic needs of our business around the world while also maximizing opportunities for our culture to thrive.”

In addition to overseeing the Walt Disney Company’s government relations initiatives around the world, Jolley is charged with taking Disney’s existing government affairs and lobbying efforts to new heights. As such, Jolley will work closely with Walt Disney and its subsidiaries and will also work with affiliates to help realize their business goals and initiatives.

Morrell, Jolley and Ross will join the Walt Disney Company on Tuesday, November 27.

Leave a Comment