After a month of speculation, it looks like John Carter, the monumental Disney flop, will finally make an impact on the movie industry. It is in the wake of this $200 million loss that Rich Ross is resigning as the Chairman of Disney Studios.
Ross’s tenure at the head of Disney film division has been much more interesting than some of the movies he green-lighted. It wasn’t just the science fiction epic, Ross also oversaw the dubiously named Prom and the fantastically bad Mars Needs Moms.
It is yet another example of a television success that ended up struggling in the film industry. Ross was hailed as a genius when he led the Disney Channel, bringing us all shows like Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place. That’s right, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez are his fault. Yet, he never seemed to find his footing when it came to the big screen.
Many believe that the bulk of Ross’s problems came when he hired an industry outsider to head Disney’s marketing department. His choice, MT Carney, left earlier this year after an equally tumultuous career with the most magical brand on earth. Maybe its just her marketing backround, but Carney at least claimed that she was leaving the company to spend more time with her family in New York. Ross seems much more open about the reason he’s leaving his extremely powerful post.
In his resignation letter, Mr. Ross writes:
I believe in this extraordinary Walt Disney Studios team, and I believe in our strong slate of films and our ability to make and market them better than anyone else. But, I no longer believe the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me. For that reason, I have made the very difficult decision to step down as Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective today.
It takes a very strong and moral person to admit that they weren’t well-suited for their impressive job title. Ross easily could’ve pretended that he was leaving the company for personal reasons or to take his career in a different direction. Instead, he seems to own up to his struggles with the company, while still sounding gracious and complimenting his employees.
In fact, Rich Ross’s resignation letter might just make him seem like a much more desirable executive, one whose capable of taking responsibility both for his successes and his failures.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the biggest flop in movie history spelled doom for at least one movie executive, but it is interesting to see how the drama of the movie industry plays out. One thing is for sure, the characters in this show are much more relatable and endearing than the ones they put on the silver screen.