Locally bred talent key part of US team
Creative and financial brains nurtured in Hong Kong were a key part of Disney's negotiating team.
Three of the Disney side's heavyweights have a link to the SAR - two were born here and another, born on the mainland, went to school here.
'It wasn't contrived; it's just the way it worked out,' Disney spokesman Chris Fruean said.
'It was a question of who were our best-qualified people, and coincidentally we happened to have some people in key roles with a connection to Hong Kong.' Hong Kong-born C. K. Tsang is a senior player in Disney's 'imagineering' section, the department responsible for conceptualising, designing and implementing Disney projects.
He joined Disney in 1994 and, as director of business planning and development for Asia-Pacific, has been responsible for weighing up opportunities for new parks to be built in the region.
Wing Chao, executive vice-president of 'imagineering', was born in Sichuan but went to school in Hong Kong before moving to the United States, where he joined Disney 27 years ago.
He has directed prominent architects in creating hotels, shops and entertainment and office space for Disney. He has overseen master planning of projects in California, Florida, Paris and Tokyo.
Mr Chao was this year named one of the 500 most influential Asians in America by Avenue magazine.
Another former local was the woman who on Tuesday talked Hong Kong through Disney's dream for Lantau.
Doris Hardoon, Disney's creative director and senior show producer, was born and raised in Hong Kong.
She joined the 'imagineering' team in 1979 and is credited with designing what other Disney executives call 'some of the company's most creative and artistic projects'.