The Walt Disney Co. announced today who will be taking over as chairman of Walt Disney Studios — an industry heavyweight with a long track record of success in feature films and at least one television credential that almost any executive would envy.
The new studio chief is Alan Horn, who steps up June 11. “Horn will oversee worldwide operations for The Walt Disney Studios including production, distribution and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar and Marvel, as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. Disney’s music and theatrical divisions will also report to Horn,” the company said in a press release.
Horn was most recently president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Entertainment, where he oversaw Warners’ “theatrical and home entertainment operations, including the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Warner Premiere (direct-to-platform production), Warner Bros. Theatrical Ventures (live stage) and Warner Home Video,’ the company noted in its release. “During his 12-year tenure, Warner Bros. Studios was the global box office leader seven times.”
Horn has at least one television credit that would make almost any industry executive jealous. Before his tenure with Warner Bros. he co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment, where he oversaw what has been described as the most successful show in television history, “Seinfeld.” As chairman and CEO of Castle Rock, he also racked up a string of feature successes, including “A Few Good Men,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “City Slickers.”
Horn has also been president and COO of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. and chairman and CEO of Embassy Communications.
In making the announcement, Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said: “Alan not only has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the business, he has a true appreciation of movie making as both an art and a business. He’s earned the respect of the industry for driving tremendous, sustained creative and financial success, and is also known and admired for his impeccable taste and integrity. He brings all of this to his new role leading our studio group, and I truly look forward to working with him.”
Said Horn: “I’m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world. I love the motion picture business and look forward to making a contribution as part of Bob Iger’s team working closely with the dedicated and talented group at the studio.”
Horn replaces Rich Ross, who was ousted in April, in part in response to the “John Carter” fiasco, as we reported previously.