The Rich Ross reshuffle continues at Disney as it emerged today that Oren Aviv has resigned as president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production.
Ross and Aviv swapped customary polite statements and the studio said a successor would be named “at an appropriate time.”
Ross, who succeeded Dick Cook as chairman of Walt Disney Studios last October, is keen to build a modern transmedia empire with an emphasis on promoting properties across the corporation’s multiple platforms.
He has wasted little time in ousting several of Cook’s most trusted lieutenants. Last November Mark Zoradi, a 29-year company veteran who oversaw global marketing and most recently served as president of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, departed.
Former Miramax president Daniel Battsek has gone as Disney winds down the specialty division this month, and is believed to have resurfaced at National Geographic Films.
Among Ross’ key new appointees are president of distribution Bob Chapek, chief technology officer Greg Brandeau, and studio franchise, post-production and Disneynature chief Alan Bergman.
Until his departure Aviv had also assumed oversight of physcial production. However it is understood he took the blame for box office disappointments for such releases as Bedtime Stories, Confessions Of A Shopaholic, G-Force and more recently Old Dogs.
Aviv said in a statement, “I have loved every day that I have been at the studio and feel incredibly privileged to have been part of a team that enriched my life for 20 years.
“I will miss all the amazing film-makers, the many talented actors and most importantly the lifelong friends I’ve been so lucky to work with throughout my Disney career.
“I’m proud of the hundreds of movies I’ve helped to make and market, especially the studio’s upcoming films, from Alice In Wonderland and Prince Of Persia to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Tron.”
“Oren’s significant contributions to The Walt Disney Studios are well-documented and countless movie-goers have been entertained by his diverse portfolio of films,” Ross said.
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