Former Warner Bros. chief Alan Horn has been named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. The news was announced today by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger.
The change will take place almost instantly, with Horn moving into the Mouse House on June 11. There, he’ll oversee worldwide operations, including production, distribution and marketing for all the company’s films (that means Disney, Pixar and Marvel, coming off the white-hot box office juggernaut “The Avengers”) and for DreamWorks Studios titles distributed by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures banner.
News of the switch comes just a month after former Disney topper Rich Ross (whose background was in TV) resigned amid the epic financial loss caused by the box office flop “John Carter.”
Warner Bros.’ feature division flourished under Horn, who oversaw a number of hit projects, including the mammoth “Harry Potter” franchise, “The Dark Knight,” the lucrative “Matrix” sequels and best picture winners “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Departed.”
Horn exited Warners in 2011, and remains one of the executive producers of the studio’s two-part prequel “The Hobbit.”
His pre-WB resume includes co-founding Castle Rock Entertainment, which produced a number of hit films (including “A Few Good Men” and “The Shawshank Redemption”) as well as bringing “Seinfeld” to massive popularity and success on NBC.
Iger and Disney are hoping that Horn will bring some of those franchise smarts to the studio.
“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,” said Iger in a press release. “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.”
“I”m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world,” added Horn. “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.”