The Walt Disney Company today announced that Alan Horn, Chief Creative Officer, Disney Studios Content, has decided to retire at the end of 2021. In a memo to employees, Bob Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, and Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Alan has had an indelible impact on the Company, our industry and audiences worldwide, and he is such a respected and beloved colleague—which is why it is bittersweet to share the news that he has decided to retire at the end of the year.”
Throughout an illustrious career spanning nearly 50 years, Horn held key leadership roles across Hollywood, co-founding Castle Rock Entertainment in 1987, which he led as Chairman for many years, before joining Warner Bros., where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer until 2011. In these roles, he led the creative teams behind iconic and influential films and series such as the Harry Potter and Batman Begins franchises, as well as A Few Good Men, The Shawshank Redemption, Seinfeld and When Harry Met Sally…
Horn was named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios in 2012, becoming Co-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer in 2019 before shifting to the Chief Creative Officer role in 2021. During this time, Horn presided over a period of significant growth and exceptional storytelling for the Studio business and helped to oversee the expansion into the production of original content for Disney’s streaming services. Under Horn’s leadership, the Company set numerous records at the box office, including 20 films that surpassed the billion-dollar mark—five of which are in the top 10 global releases of all time. Among the global hits released during his tenure are Aladdin, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Beauty and the Beast, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Coco, Cruella, Frozen, Frozen 2, Hamilton, Incredibles 2, Jungle Cruise, The Lion King, Moana, Soul, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Toy Story 4 and Zootopia.
“While Alan has achieved tremendous success on behalf of the Company, his overall impact far transcends the bottom line,” Iger and Chapek said in their memo to employees. “As everyone who knows him will attest, he is a leader of utmost integrity, and he has always shown his strong, unwavering support for creators and the creative process. Alan led a talented and collaborative Studio team that is the best in the industry, and he has positioned them well for continued long-term success under Alan Bergman and his senior leaders.”
“It truly has been an honor and a pleasure to work alongside Alan, and while we will miss him dearly, we are both enormously grateful for his example, wise counsel, support and friendship, and he will forever be a cherished member of our Disney family,” Iger and Chapek concluded.
Horn earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. A passionate environmental advocate, he served as chair of the Natural Resources Defense Council from 2018 to 2020. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He serves on the American Film Institute Board of Directors and previously served on the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors. He is the recipient of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation’s 2004 Pioneer of the Year Award; Harvard Business School’s 2007 Leadership Award and 2016 Alumni Achievement Award; the Producers Guild of America’s 2008 Milestone Award; and the Geffen Playhouse’s 2014 Distinction in Service Award.