Alan Horn to Retire as Chief Creative Officer of Disney Studios Content at Year’s End

Alan Horn, the Chief Creative Officer of Disney Studios Content, will be retiring from the company, effective December 31st, 2021.

What’s Happening:

  • According to Deadline, Alan Horn, who has been with Disney for 9 years, and in the entertainment industry for almost 50 years, announced his retirement today, effective December 31st.
  • Horn was renowned for his relationships with filmmaking talent and his ability to smooth feature productions out. He arrived at The Walt Disney Company in 2012, and brought stability to the studio after an era of massive flops.
  • Last December, Alan Bergman replaced Horn as Disney Studios Content Chairman, after co-running the division together since May 2019.
  • There are currently no plans to replace Horn, partially due to the current level of creative heads at the company, such as Kevin Feige at Marvel, Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios President of Production Sean Bailey, President of 20th Century Studio, Steve Asbell; Chief Creative Officer, Pixar Animation Studios, Pete Docter; Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Jennifer Lee; President, Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher; and Searchlight presidents Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum. All of them will continue to report to Bergman.

About Alan Horn:

  • “An MBA Harvard Business school grad, and former Captain in the United States Air Force, Horn cut his teeth in entertainment in 1973 at Embassy Communications. In 1987, he co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment, which he led as Chairman until 1999, when he joined Warner Bros., where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer until 2011. In those roles he oversaw the creative executive teams during a time when the studio churned out such blockbusters as Batman Begins and Harry Potter at Warners and 7x Oscar nominee The Shawshank Redemption and Oscar nominated summer hit When Harry Met Sally… as well as the lucrative Seinfeld.”
  • “Horn was named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios in 2012, becoming Co-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer in 2019 before shifting to the Chief Creative Officer role in 2021. In these roles, he presided over a time of significant growth including the integrations of Lucasfilm and the Fox film studios, as well as the Studios’ expansion into the production of content for Disney’s streaming services. Under Horn’s leadership, 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.

What They’re Saying:

  • Alan Horn himself had this to say about his retirement: “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.”
  • Bob Iger, Executive Chairman “Throughout an illustrious career spanning nearly five decades, Alan has had a profound impact on the entertainment industry and audiences worldwide. We have been very fortunate to have Alan at the helm of our Studio for nearly a decade, presiding over an unprecedented period of growth and exceptional storytelling, while solidifying his reputation as one of the industry’s true icons. Like so many, I will be forever grateful for his strong support, wise counsel, and enduring friendship.”
  • Bob Chapek, Disney CEO: “It has truly been a privilege to work with Alan over the years. He’s led an exceptionally talented Studio team that is the best in the industry, creating some of the most beloved and iconic films of our time, and he will forever be a cherished member of our Disney family.”
  • Horn’s partial successor, Alan Bergman had this to say: “Alan Horn is one of a kind, and we were fortunate that he chose to bring his talents to our Studios. He has been one of the most important mentors I’ve ever had, and we’re both very proud of what we’ve been able to do in our time together at the Studios leading this terrific team. I simply can’t thank him enough.”