Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman has been promoted to co-chairman of the studio. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Disney CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.
Bergman will serve alongside Horn, who will also take on the additional title of chief creative officer. As co-chairmen, Horn and Bergman will report to Iger and jointly oversee Disney’s film, music, and theatre groups, as well as the studio’s global marketing, distribution, communications, and human resources.
“Seven years ago, I had the good fortune of hiring Alan Horn as chairman of our studios, and since then, our studio entertainment group has delivered creative excellence and tremendous box office success,” Iger said in a statement. “Alan Bergman’s leadership has also been key to making our Studios the gold standard of the industry. The new ‘co-chair’ structure formally recognizes the powerful partnership behind one of the most successful eras in our studios’ history and ensures we remain focused on creating extraordinary entertainment experiences for audiences around the world.”
Disney is now producing content not just for its theatrical business, but the Disney+ direct-to-consumer platform set to launch in November. The studio’s collection of film labels includes Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm, as well as Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Family, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, and Blue Sky Studios following the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets.
Bergman will continue to oversee the studio’s business groups including operations, technology, business and legal affairs, labor relations, and finance.
As president of Disney Studios since 2005, Bergman has played a significant role in helping lead the studio’s integrations of Pixar Animation Studios and Marvel Studios, led with Horn the integration of Lucasfilm, and is currently leading with Horn the integration of the Fox film labels under the Disney umbrella. Bergman joined Disney in 1996 and has held executive roles in Disney’s controllership and operations planning groups before being named CFO in 2001.
“The Walt Disney Studios team is the best in the business, and I’ve been inspired to do my best every day because of the extraordinary group of people I’m fortunate enough to work with,” Bergman said in a statement. “I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and it’s a great honor to be asked to serve as Co-Chairman alongside Alan as we look forward to the years ahead.”
Horn has served as chairman of Disney since 2012, presiding over an unprecedented time of growth at the studio. Horn is a longtime industry veteran, having served as chairman and CEO of Norman Lear and Jerry Perenchio’s Embassy Communications and later co-founding Castle Rock Entertainment.
Prior to joining Disney, Horn helped usher in the modern blockbuster era as president and chief operating officer at Warner Bros., which led all other studios in global box office for seven years during his 12-year tenure.
“When I joined The Walt Disney Studios as chairman in 2012, I was fortunate to gain an immensely talented, passionate, and dedicated leadership team, chief among them Alan Bergman, who has been a trusted partner and friend ever since,” Horn said in a statement. “We’ve worked in close consultation throughout my tenure, and the success we’ve had over the past several years would not have been possible without him. As The Walt Disney Studios has grown to encompass not only Disney but Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and now the Fox film division, I’m thrilled to acknowledge how Alan’s role has likewise expanded by naming him to lead the Studios alongside me as co-chairman.”
Under Horn and Bergman’s leadership, Disney became the first and only studio to cross the $7 billion mark at the global box office, first in 2016 reaching $7.6 billion, and again in 2018 with $7.3 billion. Disney also set an industry record of $3.1 billion domestically in 2018. Together, they’ve overseen the release of 15 billion-dollar films, including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” which have surpassed $2 billion.
During their tenure, Disney has released the biggest domestic release of all time (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), the biggest domestic animated release of all time (“Incredibles 2”), and the biggest global animated release of all time (“Frozen”).
The studio recently broke box office records for the biggest domestic, international and global opening weekends, among others, with the release of Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame.” The film garnered $357.1 million domestically and $1.2 billion worldwide.
Disney still has some of the year’s most-anticipated films of the year to come, including “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” “Toy Story 4,” “Frozen 2” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”