Disney after John Carter: Help wanted for high-risk, low-reward job as chairman

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From the LA Times.

Wanted: Experienced executive who can turn around an unstable film studio and manage the egos of some of Hollywood’s biggest power players including Pixar animation guru John Lasseter, DreamWorks partners Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider, mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Marvel chief Ike Perlmutter.

Reward: Not much.

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bog Iger, in other words, won’t have an easy time finding a new studio chairman to replace Rich Ross.

Once considered one of the most powerful and sought-after positions in Hollywood, running the 89-year-old Burbank studio behind “Snow White,” “Mary Poppins,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” now seems about as desirable as playing Goofy on a hot day at Disneyland. The buzz in Hollywood since Iger fired Ross last Friday has been less about who’s angling for the job and more about who would want it.

The reason: Iger’s strategy of turning Disney into a collection of brands means that most of the films it releases are not overseen or greenlit by the studio chairman, as they are at rival companies. Next year, for example, Disney will release five movies (including two 3-D re-releases) from the Pixar and Disney animation units headed by Lasseter and Ed Catmull; two superhero films from Marvel, a subsidiary run by CEO Perlmutter and President Kevin Feige; and at least one from DreamWorks, the independent studio that has a distribution deal with Disney.

Read the rest at LA Times


  • The problem is this: Iger is an idiot. That was obvious when he hired Rich Ross-whose biggest success was Disney’s TV unit (yep the man responsible for the horror that was Hannah Montana)-to run the studio. Who does that? Or his grand scheme of building up brands at the expense of movie production. I just rewatched both Dumbo and Bambi on Blu-Ray and the extras played up Walt Disney’s hands on approach to running the studio and the projects he was involved in. Poor Walt is probably doing the proverbial “spinning in his grave” routine. Iger has managed even more than Michael Eisner to run the studio into the ground and I doubt it will ever reachieve the glory it once had.

  • I think this article is right on. Who wants the job? Iger has emasculated it so much that nobody who wants it? I bet it ends up being none of the top tier candidates.

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