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Longtime Disney Studios Exec Alan Horn to Retire at Year’s End

The nine-year Mouse House veteran will step down as chief creative officer

Disney Studios chief creative officer Alan Horn will retire from the post effective Dec. 31 after nine years with the company, Horn announced Monday.

Horn served as Walt Disney Studios chairman from June 2012 to May 2019, when he transitioned to co-chairman and chief creative officer alongside co-chairman Alan Bergman. Horn has served as chief creative officer of Disney Studios Content (formerly the Walt Disney Studios) with Bergman as chairman. Horn moved into the CCO role solely in early 2021, when Bergman was named chairman.

The studio entertainment group includes Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and Disney Theatrical Productions. Bergman will continue as chairman of Disney Studios Content.

“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 the statement Iger, executive chairman of Disney, Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Bergman heaped similar praise on Horn.

“Throughout an illustrious career spanning nearly five decades, Alan has had a profound impact on the entertainment industry and audiences worldwide,” Iger said. “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.”

“It has truly been a privilege to work with Alan over the years,” Chapek said. “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.”

Said Bergman: “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.”

During his Disney tenure, Horn oversaw the integrations of Lucasfilm in 2012 and Fox film studios into the Disney company, as well as the expansion into the production of content for Disney’s streaming services including Disney+.

Horn, 78, began his entertain entertainment career 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 is various posts he oversaw the creative executive teams behind numerous films and series including the “Batman Begins” and “Harry Potter” series, “The Shawshank Redemption,” “When Harry Met Sally…,” and “Seinfeld.”