Former Warner Bros Entertainment president Alan Horn has been named chairman of Walt Disney Studios, stepping into the post recently vacated by Rich Ross.
Horn (pictured), who takes up the job June 11, will oversee worldwide Disney Studios operations including production, distribution and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar and Marvel as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. Disney’s music and theatrical divisions will also report to him.
Horn left Warner last summer after a twelve year stint in charge of the studio’s theatrical and home entertainment operations. During that period, Warner was the global box office leader seven times.
Films released during his tenure included all eight installments of the Harry Potter series, The Dark Knight, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Happy Feet, Sherlock Holmes, The Departed, Batman Begins, Million Dollar Baby, the second and third Matrix films and the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy.
At the time of his departure Horn confirmed to the New York Times that leaving was not his idea. “I guess they wanted younger and better looking management,” he told the paper.
Ross left Disney in April after the poor box office performance of John Carter.
In a statement, Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger said: “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. 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.”
Horn said: “I’m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world. 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.”
Before joining Warner, Horn co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment and served as president and COO of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.