Los Angeles Business Journal

Disney Hires Warner Bros. Veteran to Run Film Studio

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, May 31, 2012

Walt Disney Co. on Thursday said that Alan Horn, most recently president and chief operating officer at Warner Bros. Entertainment, has been named chairman of Walt Disney Studios, effective June 11.

Horn, who was with Warner Bros. for 12 years before leaving last year, will oversee worldwide operations for the Burbank entertainment giant’s motion picture unit, including production, distribution and marketing for Disney, Pixar and Marvel live-action and animated films. He also will oversee marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under Touchstone Pictures. Disney’s music and theatrical divisions also will report to Horn.

Before joining Warner Bros., Horn was co-founder, chairman and chief executive of Castle Rock Entertainment, now a Warner Bros. subsidiary. Horn is well respected in the movie and television industry, having overseen the creative executive teams responsible for hits ranging from the Harry Potter film franchise and the television series Seinfeld.

“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,” Chief Executive Bob Iger aid in a statement. “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.”

Horn replaces Rich Ross, who resigned last month following the box office failure of the Disney science-fiction adventure film “John Carter.” The studio division lost $84 million in its fiscal second quarter, largely due to the $200 million write-down taken on the live-action movie.

Disney made the hiring announcement just before the Thursday markets closed. Shares closed up 51 cents, or 1 percent, to $45.71 on the New York Stock Exchange.