Veteran Executives Will Share Co-Chairman Role, Horn Named Chief Creative Officer
BURBANK, Calif. – May 1, 2019 – Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, and Alan Horn, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, have announced that Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman has been elevated to Co-Chairman of the Studio Entertainment division. He will serve alongside Horn, while Horn will assume the additional title of Chief Creative Officer, continuing to guide the Studios’ overarching creative strategy.
As Co-Chairmen, Horn and Bergman will report to Iger and will jointly oversee Disney’s world-class film, music, and theatre groups, as well as the Studios’ global marketing, distribution, communications, and human resources. Producing content both for theatrical release and Disney’s direct-to-consumer platforms, the Studios’ 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 Walt Disney Company’s recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Bergman will continue to oversee the Studios’ business groups including operations, technology, business and legal affairs, labor relations, and finance.
“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,” said Iger. “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.”
“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,” said Horn. “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.”
“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,” said Bergman. “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.”
As President of The Walt Disney Studios since 2005, Bergman has played a significant role in guiding the transformation of Disney’s film studio into an industry powerhouse. He led the Studios’ 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 Walt Disney Studios umbrella. Bergman joined The Walt Disney Company in 1996 and held executive roles in Disney’s controllership and operations planning groups before being named Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Studios in 2001.
Serving as Chairman since 2012, Horn has presided over an unprecedented time of growth at The Walt Disney Studios. 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 ushered in the modern blockbuster era as President and Chief Operating Officer at Warner Bros., which led the global box office seven years during his 12-year tenure.
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, when Disney also set an industry record of $3.09 billion domestically. Together, they’ve overseen the release of 15 billion-dollar hits, including two films – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avengers: Infinity War” – that have surpassed $2 billion out of only four in industry history.
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”), and a Disney release has led the box office domestically and globally every year since 2015. Among the films they’ve guided together are Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Jungle Book”; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” and “Moana”; Pixar’s “Coco” and “Inside Out”; Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel”; and Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” while Disney’s theatrical group has debuted popular Broadway and touring productions of “Frozen,” “Newsies,” “Aladdin,” and others.
The Studios 2019 film slate is its most ambitious yet, with “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame” already surpassing $1 billion each; live-action Disney releases “Dumbo,” “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”; Fox’s “Dark Phoenix,” “Stuber,” and “Ford V. Ferrari”; Pixar’s “Toy Story 4”; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen 2”; and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” among others. The Studios is also producing highly anticipated content for Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+, including “The Mandalorian” from Lucasfilm, several Marvel Studios limited series, and Disney’s live-action “Lady and The Tramp.”