The exec who spent two decades at Disney, overseeing its theatrical ops in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the past four years, has landed at Universal. Jo Yan has been tapped as Managing Director and EVP China at Universal Pictures International. He will be charged with building the company’s China office and running the film group’s theatrical and digital distribution and its local Chinese-language production efforts. He also will work on strategies for Universal Jo YanPictures, NBCUniversal and Comcast in the region along with developing Uni brands and licenses there. Yan will serve as creative adviser for Illumination Entertainment, helping to source local intellectual property and identifying companies who could provide animation services.

“China is one of our most significant international territories and it is imperative that Universal has a strong, well-respected leader as we expand our presence in this region,” said Duncan Clark, UPI’s President of Distribution. “Jo is the perfect choice to build and lead our Chinese office.”

Yan’s 20-year stint at Disney including stints as SVP Sales, Acquisitions and Co-productions for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Asia-Pacific and Buena Vista International’s head of sales in the Asia-Pacific market. Before that he held posts at Orion Pictures International and Hong Kong’s Intercontinental Distributors.