Like everyone in Hollywood, Nikki Finke has her own agenda. But even so, her insight into why Rich Ross was pushed out of the Walt Disney Studios President role is worth reading. Finke lays a lot of the blame at the feet of Disney CEO Bob Iger. She blames Iger both for hiring those with the wrong personality for the job, but also for firing them before they have a chance to prove themselves. Kinda damned if you do, damned if you don’t for Bob. Finke is one of the few voices in Hollywood who just doesn’t like Bob.
In the end it was a combination of Ross making poor decisions (hiring M.T. Carney and upsetting Disney’s real money makers (Pixar, Dreamworks, and Bruckheimer)) and the fact that Hollywood never really wanted him to succeed that forced him to the curb.
Compared to Michael Ovitz and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Rich Ross debacle will shortly be forgotten. Even though the box office disaster of John Carter (a film approved by Dick Cook) will not be forgotten so quickly, the films Ross greenlit (Peter Hedge’s The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (August 15th), Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie (October 5th), Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great And Powerful (March 8th, 2013), Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp under the Jerry Bruckheimer banner (May 31st, 2013), and Maleficent (March 14th, 2014) starring Angelina Jolie) might yet prove him to be a money maker for the mouse.
Previously: Rich Ross Resigns as Walt Disney Studios Chief.