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Disney's gay movie studio chief ousted

Departure of Rich Ross comes after massive box office failure of John Carter
Rich_Ross
Photo: Walt Dsney Studios

The reign of Rich Ross as the first out head of a major movie studio has proven to be short-lived.

On Friday (20 April), Ross stepped down at chairman of Walt Disney Studios after less than three years on the job. His departure comes in the wake of the box office disaster John Carter which is expected to lose the studio arond $200 million.

In a letter to his staff, Ross wrote of the 'very difficult decision to step down' after realizing that the job was not the right fit for him:

'I've always said our success is created and driven by our people - whom I consider to be the absolute best in the business. But, the best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities. It's one of the leadership lessons I've learned during my career, and it's something I've been giving a great deal of thought to as I look at the challenges and opportunities ahead.'

Prior to taking charge of the movie studio, Ross was at the helm of Disney Channels Worldwide and presided over such franchise behemoths Hannah Montana and High School Musical.

But he was unable to create similar success as head of the movie studio.

Disney Chairman Bob Iger released a statement praising Ross's 15 years at Disney: 'His vision and leadership opened doors for Disney around the world, making our brand part of daily life for millions of people. I appreciate his countless contributions throughout his entire career at Disney, and expect he will have tremendous success in whatever he chooses to do next.'

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