Rich Ross: Disney's Studio Chairman Steps Down

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Rich Ross
Rich Ross, Disney’s studio chair, has resigned after the entertainment company took a huge hit with the movie “John Carter.”

Rich Ross, Disney's studio chair, has resigned after the entertainment company took a huge hit with the movie John Carter.

Ross said in a memo to staff Friday that the role of chairman of Walt Disney Studios was no longer the right professional fit for him.

He took over for Dick Cook two and a half years ago.

According to The New York Times, filmmakers and producers starting coming to Mr. Iger, Disney's chief executive, with complaints about Mr. Ross after the recent failure of John Carter. Disney said it would take a $200 million write-down due to the science-fiction attempt.

Although a successor has yet to be named, Hollywood has begun speculating about possibilities, such as Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, and Stacey Snider, chief executive and a co-owner of DreamWorks Studios.

It is not expected that Disney will alter the movie making techniques championed by Ross, including releasing fewer movies but with bigger budgets. According to The New York Times, the goal is to create franchises with characters that can be turned into merchandise lines, theme park rides and small screen spin-offs.

Ross' resignation comes just two weeks before the release of one of Disney's biggest movies of the year, The Avengers.

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