Alan Horn Alan Horn

Alan Horn’s long-expected departure from The Walt Disney Company has been confirmed.

The executive, 78, will retire at the end of this year, capping a half-century career in Hollywood.

Here are the details:

  • On December 31, Horn will step down as chief creative officer Disney Studios Content, the group that incorporates Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and the company’s other studios.
  • Horn has held the role since May 2019. He also served as chairman of the studios from 2012 to 2019, then co-chairman (with Alan Bergman) until last December, when Bergman was promoted to sole chairman.
  • Under Horn, Disney recovered from a period of flops to become the biggest film studio in Hollywood. Propelled by high-profile remakes and franchise tentpoles, it accounted for some 40% of the domestic box office in 2019.
  • Horn started his career at Embassy Communications. In 1987, he co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment (The Shawshank Redemption, When Harry Met Sally).
  • He then served as president and COO of Warner Bros. for 12 years, until he was forced out in 2011. In his time there, the studio released mega-hits like the Harry Potter films and Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
  • Horn’s departure comes as no surprise: he was expected to leave alongside former CEO Bob Iger as executive chairman, who is stepping down on December 31. Bergman will continue to lead the studios group, and there are no plans to replace Horn.
  • In a statement, Horn said:

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. 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.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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