Alan F. Horn the chairman and Chief Creative Officer of the Walt Disney Studios is set to retire effective December 31, 2021, after nine years with the company. Horn made the announcement earlier today.
“It has been my great privilege and pleasure to be able to spend these past 50 years helping creative people tell stories that move, entertain, and connect audiences around the world – and a dream come true to have the chance to do it at Disney, no less,” Horn said in a statement. “I’m deeply thankful to Bob Iger for the opportunity he gave me and to Alan Bergman for being an incredible partner throughout this adventure, as well as to Bob Chapek for his steady leadership during these unprecedented times. I also must recognize the extraordinary leaders of our individual studios as well as our business teams and every single one of our fantastic team members. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a place you love, which is why I’ve done it slowly, but with Alan Bergman leading the way, I’m confident the incredible Studios team will keep putting magic out there for years to come.”
In 2012, at the urging of The Walt Disney Company chairman and then-CEO Bob Iger, Horn was lured out of retirement after running Warner Bros. to become Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, replacing Rich Ross who was dismissed after conflicts with Pixar executives. Horn established a successful working relationship with Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Studios which operated with great autonomy under Disney’s overall ownership, while also overseeing strong box office releases from Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
In his tenure, The Walt Disney Studios set numerous records at the box office, surpassing $7 billion globally in 2016 and 2018 and $11 billion in 2019, the only studio ever to have reached these thresholds. Among the global hits released during his tenure are Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen, Zootopia, Moana, and Frozen 2; Pixar’s Coco, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4; Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Horn also oversaw Disney Studios’ expansion into Disney+, as well as assisted in the acquisition of 20th Century Fox and the development of new properties under the now 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures banners. Alan Bergman will continue as chairman of Disney Studios Content.