Diener Stepping Down at American Medical

Royce Diener, who has served as chief executive of American Medical International for nearly 10 years, said Monday that he will step down from that post in August as part of the Beverly Hills company’s management succession plan.

Diener, 67, will remain as chairman of the board and executive committee. Succeeding him as chief executive will be President and Chief Operating Officer Walter L. Weisman, 50.

“In July, 1981, I advised the management compensation and continuity committee of the board of directors that I wished to step down after 10 years of service as chief executive,” Diener said in a prepared statement. “Therefore, we have had four years to provide for a strong succession and an orderly transition.”

The appointment of Weisman takes effect Sept. 1. He will be succeeded as chief operating officer by R. Bruce Andrews, who will also become senior executive vice president. Other appointments, also effective in September, include Charles P. Reilly, senior executive vice president and chief development officer; Thomas E. Donohue, executive vice president-administration, and Andre Dimitriadis, currently senior vice president, who will become chief financial officer.


Diener, who joined the health-care company in 1969 as an outside director, was elevated to president in 1973 and chief executive in July, 1975. He was elected chairman in 1979. Weisman, who has been chief operating officer since 1976, was promoted to president in 1979.


Walt Disney Productions, Burbank, announced that John F. Cooke has been appointed president of the Disney Channel pay-cable service following the resignation last week of James P. Jimirro.

Cooke is currently executive vice president of Times Mirror Cable Television in Irvine, a unit of Los Angeles-based Times Mirror Co. He previously was president and chief executive of Times Mirror Satellite Programming and Spotlight, a satellite-delivery pay-cable service based in Santa Monica.


Cooke’s “leadership and depth of experience in cable-television operations and programming, his broad understanding of the strategic issues of our business and his widely respected reputation . . . can only help to enhance the Disney Channel’s growth and momentum,” according to a prepared statement by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Richard Frank, respectively chairman and president of Disney’s motion picture and television division.

Jimirro, a 12-year Disney executive, is expected to continue as a consultant and marketing strategist.

James H. Hook has been named chairman and chief executive of First Interstate Leasing, a unit of Los Angeles-based First Interstate Bancorp. He succeeds Terry V. Pender, who resigned for unspecified reasons. Arnold Goehring, a former officer in Bank of America’s leasing subsidiary, was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of First Interstate Leasing.

Ivan Fecan has been appointed vice president-creative affairs for NBC Productions, Burbank. He joins NBC from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., where he was head of variety programming.


The Los Angeles office of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. said four senior managers were promoted to the position of partner in the accounting and consulting firm: Jeremiah R. Kanaly, who was named private business advisory services partner, and Sandra N. Bane, Tim E. Bentsen and David C. Merritt, who were named audit partners. Additionally, Holly A. Richards was named management consulting principal.

Norman S. Mitchell has been named president of the California region for Fuller Commercial Brokerage Co., Chicago. He’ll be based in Fuller’s Los Angeles office.

Nicholas A. Field-Johnson has been named senior vice president and general manager-corporate finance for Beverly Hills-based Merchant Bank of California.

Homer C. McClure, director of the Western-Pacific region of the Federal Aviation Administration, has been named chairman of the Los Angeles Federal Executive Board, which comprises about 100 federal agency directors in Southern California representing 110,000 federal employees.


Postal Instant Press, Los Angeles, named Marc J. Battistello vice president-operations. The company franchises instant printing outlets.

Lee Christensen has been appointed division vice president-South Pacific zone for Hertz in Los Angeles.