The Walt Disney Co named Hollywood veteran Alan Horn chairman of its film division, turning to an executive skilled at managing big movies and big personalities to run a unit plagued by management turnover in the last three years.
Horn, who developed a reputation for creating hit film franchises such as "Harry Potter" and "The Dark Knight" during his long tenure at Warner Bros Entertainment, replaces Rich Ross, a former Disney Channel executive who quit in April after less than three years. Ross took over from long-time chairman Dick Cook, who was forced out in 2009.
The choice was announced today by Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and takes effect June 11.
“I’m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world,” Horn was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. “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 will oversee movie making (live action and animation) from Disney, Pixar and Marcel and the marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released through Touchstone Pictures, the AP reported.
For Warner Brothers, Horn helped lead the “Harry Potter” franchise, and had other hits such as “Happy Feet”, “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Dark Knight,” according to the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.
With Disney, Horn will be working with Hollywood dynamos such as Joe Roth, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer, the NY Times blog said.
Horn replaces Rich Ross, who stepped down in April, not long after the lack-luster release of the big-budget “John Carter”.