As Disney’s 50th-anniversary celebrations continue and new behind-the-scenes information is revealed, a happy but bittersweet change is also coming to Disney Studios. Alan Horn, the Chief Creative Officer of Disney Studios Content, is retiring in December at the age of 78! Although Alan had only been “at the Burbank, CA lot” for nine years, he’s had almost 50 years of experience “in an executive TV and motion picture industry career”. According to Deadline, Horn “was renowned for his relationships with filmmaking talent and smoothing out feature productions. He is known for his gracious and astute approach to film production situations”. Before his current position, Alan Horn worked for Warner Bros and oversaw blockbusters like the Harry Potter series.
Horn was at Disney Studios during an interesting time, and he presumably has gotten to witness Disney’s shift “beyond the big screen to streaming“. According to Deadline, “there aren’t plans to replace Horn, particularly given the autonomy of the creative heads at Disney’s various labels”. Alan Horn’s coworkers had lovely things to say about the industry veteran, but the retiree also had some kind words of his own.
“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,” the CCO said. “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.”
Bob Iger, the Executive Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, said that “Alan has had a profound impact on the entertainment industry and audiences worldwide. 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”.
Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that “It has truly been a privilege to work with Alan over the years…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”. Horn was also described by Alan Bergman as “one of a kind”, and he added that “we were fortunate that [Alan] 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.” Alan Horn’s retirement will be official on December 31st.