Hong Kong Disneyland has brought in a 15-year Disney veteran from Florida to fill the pivotal position of senior vice-president of marketing after failing for nine months to attract suitable candidates with local and mainland experience.
Jill Estorino, who was previously marketing director at Walt Disney World in Orlando, assumes the position vacated by Roy Tan Hardy, who left in April last year.
Ms Estorino reports directly to managing director Bill Ernest and has already arrived in Hong Kong.
A Disney spokesman said Ms Estorino will be responsible for directing and overseeing the theme park's marketing strategies but cannot be considered as replacing Mr Hardy.
'It will be difficult to compare the latest appointment with any previous position,' the spokesman said, adding that the theme park will continue to recruit staff with local or regional experience.
The search to fill the position had not been smooth. Sources said the theme park short-listed two candidates by September last year but both eventually dropped out.
One candidate was finally selected and an internal announcement was to be made at a 9.30am video conference on November 10 with Mr Ernest and Michael Mendenhall, executive vice-president of global marketing with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. However, the candidate called 30 minutes before the broadcast to decline the offer.