SAUDI PIF REBRANDS ENTERTAINMENT SUBSIDIARY
FORMER DISNEY EXEC BILL ERNEST APPOINTED AS THE CEO
The Development and Investment Entertainment Company (DIEC), a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment
Fund (PIF), has been rebranded to Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN).
The subsidiary was established by the Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund in 2017 to develop the entertainment and lifestyle sectors in the kingdom. PIF has also signed deals with cinema operators such as AMC Entertainment Holdings, in which Wanda is also an investor, and is expected to welcome around 350 movie theatres with over 2,500 screens expected by 2030.
Former Disney executive Bill Ernest has been appointed as the CEO of the Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company (SEVEN). Bill Ernest is a veteran of 25 years at Disney, and most recently led the parks and resorts business in Asia as president and managing director. Ernest will lead and manage all facets of SEVEN and attempt to maximise its investments in the entertainment infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
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.”