Warner Bros. International has named Paolo Ferrari as president and managing director, Warner Bros Entertainment Italy.

The promotion was announced today by Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO, Alan Horn, president and COO and Richard Fox, executive vice president, International, Warner Bros.

Ferrari's advancement comes after a 17 year stint with Warner Bros - in the new role his responsibilities will expand to include general oversight of all Warner Bros' business in Italy including theatrical, home video, production (Warner Bros has been involved in local film production in Italy for the past few years), marketing and distribution of both Studio and local pictures.

He will over see distribution, international cinemas, consumer products, online and emerging distribution technologies and work closely with regional and local management teams.

'I look forward to working with him and our in-country management teams to become an even more important part of the thriving, vibrant Italian entertainment industry, where we're already and established player in local film production arena,' said Richard Fox in a statement.

Prior to the promotion, Ferrari - whose career in the film industry has spanned almost five decades - served as managing director, Italy, Warner Bros Pictures International, after joining Warner Bros Italia in 1989 as managing director.

Ferrari also worked with Columbia Tri-Star Films Italian for 11 years and spent 17 years at MGM in various ranks.

He is currently president of ANICA, Italy's motion picture organization and president of the organizing committee CONI-AGIS, the Turin International Sport Film Festival. He previously presided over box-office group Cinetel and anti-piracy association FAPAV.

In 2006, Ferrari was given the 'Grande Ufficiale' appointment - an honorary title bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic.