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Ben Sherwood to replace Anne Sweeney at Disney/ABC

Ben Sherwood has been named as Anne Sweeney’s replacement as boss of Disney/ABC Television Group.

Ben SherwoodSherwood has been running ABC News during which time he is credited with reinvigorating Good Morning America and forging joint ventures with Yahoo and US Hispanic net Univision.

Disney announced this afternoon (GMT) that he will take Sweeney’s role of co-president, Disney/ABC Television Group. He will move into the position immediately and also continue to run ABC News until a replacement is recruited.

Sweeney (right) said earlier this month she was leaving Disney to become a TV director. She joined Disney in 1996 and will be with the company until January 2015.

Sherwood was immediately installed as a favourite to succeed her, alongside the likes of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Disney CFO Jay Rasulo.

Anne Sweeney croppedBob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said: “Ben is one of those unique executives who combine rich creative experience with great business acumen.

“He’s also focused, strategic, and competitive, as evidenced by the success of GMA, the Yahoo deal that delivered ABC News online dominance, and his vision behind our new cable and digital joint venture, Fusion. These reasons, and many others, make Ben the ideal candidate to oversee the future of the Disney/ABC Television Group.”

Sherwood added: “I am honoured and humbled that Bob has entrusted me with this great responsibility and amazing opportunity. I’m also deeply grateful to Anne, who has built and led a powerhouse division over the last 10 years. I am looking forward to her counsel and wisdom during this transition period.”