Ross Exits As Disney Studios Chairman
Less than three years on the job, and Rich Ross, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, is resigning.
In a statement that Disney released on Friday, Ross said: “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."
This isn’t much of a surprise, as the studio has had some big troubles recently –- including what has been called one of the biggest flops in movie history: "John Carter" lost $200 million, according to estimates.
Ross, who came from building a very successful Disney Channels Worldwide operation, made what analysts called some unusual decisions when it came to a key marketing position. He hired advertising/marketing veteran outsider, Naked Communications executive MT Carney in April 2010.
Carney departed Disney back in January. Analysts believe that the rapidly moving business didn’t suit the executive's strengths.
In recent years, Disney had been pushing for its studios division to make fewer movies to avoid expensive fringe efforts. The focus was to push big merchandise and marketing partnership franchises, which could also be used as marketing tools for its theme parks.
Ross took over from Dick Cook as chairman of Walt Disney Studios in 2009. In the release, Ross added that he felt the company's personnel were the "absolute best in the business 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.”