Alumnus Rich Ross steps down as chair of Disney
The 1983 grad is credited with success of "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana" franchises
April 22, 2012, 11:25 pm·
After less than three years on the job, 1983 College graduate Rich Ross stepped down as chair of Walt Disney Studios on Friday.
In a memo to staff Friday morning, Ross, who has frequently come back to Penn as a guest speaker, wrote that “I no longer believe the chairman role is the right professional fit for me.”
Ross’s exit comes after Disney booked a $200-million loss on science-fiction epic “John Carter,” one of the largest losses in movie history. Disney experienced another high-profile box office flop last year with the film “Mars Needs Moms.”
As the former head of Disney Channels Worldwide, Ross was credited for the success of franchises such as “High School Musical” and “Hannah Montana.” He became chair in Oct. 2009 with a goal to cut costs and develop new hits.
Despite major cost-saving and restructuring efforts, Disney still experienced losses under Ross’s tenure.
The Walt Disney Co. has not yet named a successor.