The Development and Investment Entertainment Co. (DIEC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has been rebranded to Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN). Former Disney executive Bill Ernest has been appointed as the CEO of the Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company (SEVEN).
SEVEN was established by the Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund in 2017 to develop the entertainment and lifestyle sectors in the kingdom. In partnership with AMC Group, it launched the first movie theatre in Saudi Arabia in more than three decades.Ernest will lead and manage all facets of SEVEN and attempt to maximise its investments in the entertainment infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, the release stated.
Bill Ernest spent almost 25 years at Disney, most recently as president and managing director for the parks and resorts business in Asia.
Commenting on the appointment, Abdullah Al-Dawood, Chairman of the board of directors of SEVEN, said: “Bill’s unique expertise and extensive skills in the entertainment and hospitality sector, and over two decades in a leadership role at Disney, will enable him to fulfill the company’s future aspirations through its four main sectors—entertainment complexes, theme parks, movie theaters, and family centres and specialty attractions. Furthermore, Bill’s long history in development and management of resorts in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, and his high standing among his global peers will enhance the company’s local and international partnerships for investment and development in the Kingdom’s promising entertainment sector.”