Walt Disney Pictures Chairman Resigns Following 'John Carter' Big Flop
Walt Disney Pictures chairman, Rich Ross, has stepped down from his position after taking the duty for less than three years. Ross confirmed his decision on Friday, April 20, a month after the Mouse House announced that it expects to lose $200 million on mega-budgeted movie "John Carter".
"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," Ross said in a statement. "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."
"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," so he announced.
Ross was named the Chairman of Disney in October 2009 with a mission to cut costs and develop new hits. He was previously named the President of the Disney Channel, where his name was credited for creating successful series such as "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana".
Responding to Ross' decision to quit his job, Disney CEO Bob Iger said, "For more than a decade, Rich Ross' creative instincts, business acumen and personal integrity have driven results in key business for Disney."
"His vission and leadership opened doors for Disney around the world, making our brand part of daily life for millions of people," Iger continued. "I appreciate his countless contributions throughout his entire career at Disney, and expect he will have tremendous success in whatever he chooses to do next."
Following Ross' resignation, an insider said that Disney will not immediately name a new head for its studio. However, speculation has spread throughout Hollywood about who might replace Ross. According to The Hollywood Reporter, such names as Stacey Snider, Mary Parent, Kevin Feige, and Alan Bergman are mentioned as the potential candidates.
As for Ross, he joined Disney Channel in 1996 as a programming and production exec before being promoted to preside the cable channel in 2004. His shining career at the Disney Channel made him a star in the company and eventually led to his being hand-picked by Iger to replace long-time chairman Dick Cook.
During his career as a chairman, Ross reportedly lost the confidence of Disney's acclaimed producers, including "Pirates of the Caribbean" producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Back in 2011, Ross shut down Bruckheimer's big project "The Lone Ranger" due to budgetary issue.
Instead, he let the budget for "John Carter" rise to $250 million from $200 million. The film, however, took in only $269 million worldwide, making it the biggest box office flop in recent Hollywood history.
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