Rich Ross has resigned from his post as Walt Disney Studios Chair. After being promoted from his job running The Disney Channel, Ross has experienced a rocky road with full of strained relationships with many Hollywood insiders, not to mention others inside the Mouse House.
Although technically only a few of the films Ross approved for production have reached audiences, his role in hiring outside M.T. Carney and the failure of marketing for big-budget John Carter no doubt played a large role in his ouster.
Frankly, living up to the success and expectations set by previous studio had Dick Cook would have been difficult for anyone. However, let’s hope Bob Iger is able to get someone with a Disney background and enough Hollywood experience to be effective. Someone like, I don’t know, Anne Sweeney or Nina Jacobson?
(update: Stacey Snider from Dreamworks and Mary Parent formerly of Universal also sound good)
Here is Rich Ross’ resignation letter:
For the last 15 years, I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people on behalf of the world’s best loved brand. During that time, we’ve told some amazing stories around the world, created successful TV programming, movies, and franchises that generated new opportunities for the company in the process.
I’ve always said our success is created and driven by our people – whom I consider to be the absolute best in the business. But, the best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities. It’s one of the leadership lessons I’ve learned during my career, and it’s something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to as I look at the challenges and opportunities ahead.
I believe in this extraordinary Walt Disney Studios team, and I believe in our strong slate of films and our ability to make and market them better than anyone else. But, I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me. For that reason, I have made the very difficult decision to step down as Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective today.
It has been my honor to work with such incredible teams – at Disney Channels Worldwide and The Walt Disney Studios and the many other Disney businesses I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. I know I leave the Studios in good hands and, even on separate paths, I am confident we are all destined for continued success. -Rich
Who do you think would be a good fit at Walt Disney Studios?
(via the Hollywood Reporter )
It’s about time. I would love for Kevin Feige to replace him. Now there’s a man who knows a successful movie when he sees it.
It all depends on the direction Bob Iger wants to give to the Disney Studios…
If it all comes down to making money and blockbusters then Kevin Feige will be a great fit.
If they want to do some quality movies that eventually can become a franchise and make money then they should hire Stacey Snider from Dreamworks (after all they already stole one exec from them why not another one :D)
yeah, let’s send all the talent south of Emeryville to Dreamworks and bring Dreamworks’ executives to Disney.
Not surprising, but a bit sad. Ross just didn’t seem comfortable in the shoes of a film studio exec. Actually, it was probably a next-to-impossible job coming in on the heels of the very popular Dick Cook. But, honestly, the marketing started going off the rails a bit while Cook was still there. (And I love Cook’s story within the company; his early days working at Disneyland and the way he treated Disney fans in interpersonal relationships). I still think Bob Iger could have given Cook more help with a strong No. 2 more savvy with social media and new film marketing techniques and a 2 to 5 year window for Cook to help the No. 2 establish great relationships with Johnny Depp and scores of other talent.
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