This month, it was rumored by Hollywood insiders that Alan Horn, Bob Iger, and others would be leaving Disney soon. Bob Iger had already stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer of the company, something that was planned for years, and was replaced by Bob Chapek, who was formally the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.
Due to the ongoing pandemic and to ensure that the company had a smooth transition, Bob Iger returned to his duties in April as acting executive chairman of Disney.
“A crisis of this magnitude, and its impact on Disney, would necessarily result in my actively helping Bob [Chapek] and the company contend with it, particularly since I ran the company for 15 years!”
Despite this, Bob Chapek is still CEO of The Walt Disney Company, making his own decisions and statements regarding the company and how they plan on moving forward past the coronavirus. So, the rumors of Alan Horn leaving the company may sound like it will be rocking the boat just as much as Bob Iger's exit, but looking closer, it seems like Disney plans on easing into this transition just like they're now doing with CEO Bob Chapek.
According to The Hollywood Reporter , the recent rumor of Alan Horn stepping down as Walt Disney Studios chairman is correct, and Alan Bergman will succeed him. Alan Horn will still be at Disney and continue his secondary role of Chief Creative Officer.
How this new structure works is that both Bergman and Horn will report to Chapek, with the leads of all of Disney's production labels, including Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, reporting to Horn and Bergman on all creative matters.
Alan Horn also commented on his successor Alan Bergman, and the confidence Horn has in him taking over the role of Walt Disney Studios chairman:
“It has been an honor to lead The Walt Disney Studios over the past eight-plus years, and I’m so grateful not only to Bob Iger for making it possible in the first place but to the Studios team, whom I find endlessly inspiring — I hope they are all as proud of what we’ve been able to do together as I am...It has been an amazing run, and the time feels right to shift my focus solely to our enormous creative slate. As for our new Studios Chairman, Alan Bergman has been at my side since day one; he has been the best partner imaginable, and the team could be in no better hands.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
As the report states, Alan Horn will remain at Disney and likely have a similar relationship with Kevin Feige and Kathleen Kennedy before he stepped down as Walt Disney Studios chairman. It is also encouraging hearing how long Alan Bergman has worked alongside Horn, so, hopefully, the waves are minimal upon this shift on January 1, 2021.
It is doubtful that there will be any drastic changes to Disney's plans, methods, or model besides the new focus on Disney+ as Disney needs to enrich their expensive investment with new content and the coronavirus causing their new streaming service to become such a high priority in the first place. Once the pandemic passes, it will be interesting to see how Disney operates and works with its production label leads.