After nearly 50 years in the movie and television business, Alan Horn has announced his plans to retire as Chief Creative Officer of Disney Studios Content as of December 31.
After graduating from Harvard Business school with an MBA and serving as a captain in the Air Force, Horn began his entertainment career in 1973 at Embassy Communications. From Embassy Communications, Horn co-founded Castle Rock Entertainment in 1987 and served as chairman until leaving in 1999 to head Warner Bros as President and Chief Operating Officer until 2011. During his time at Warner Bros, he headed the creative executive teams that are responsible for some of the biggest hits in film such as The Shawshank Redemption, Batman Begins, Harry Potter, and When Harry Met Sally… His most well-known TV venture from this time was the Larry David comedy, Seinfeld.
Upon joining Walt Disney Studios, Horn worked as Content chairman from June 2012 until he moved on to become the Co-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer with Co-Chairman Alan Bergman in May 2019. In December of 2020, Bergman took over as the Disney Studios Content chairman after his time working alongside Horn, allowing Horn to fully hone in on his duties as Chief Creative Officer.
When Horn joined Disney in 2012, he changed the course of the studio’s past flops such as John Carter and Mars Needs Moms. Horn got there just in time for the company’s take over of the popular worlds of Marvel and Lucasfilm. Soon, Disney bought Rupert Murdoch’s companies, 20th Century Fox and Searchlight to add even more big names to Horn’s tenure. During his time at Disney, Horn saw huge box office records reaching beyond $7 billion in 2016 and 2018, as well as a haul of $11 billion in 2019 He saw success in animated movies such as Frozen 2 and Incredibles 2, as well as blockbuster action hits like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Endgame.
Of his time in the entertainment industry, Horn said:
“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. 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.”
While Horn is leaving Disney, there are no plans for his position to be filled.