The Walt Disney Company has fired Dick Cook...
Or he resigned, depending on who you believe. Wow, now that's a surprise I wasn't expecting after his D23 Expo keynote which was held a week ago today.
Now who to replace him? I like Cook, he's been a good Suit. It's going to be hard to replace someone with the connections he has in Hollywood. But two names are floating around as replacements. One is Kevin Feige, who is head of Marvel Productions. The other choice is John Lasseter, currently head of Pixar and Disney Animation, and Head of Creativity at Imagineering. Wow, Lasseter has a shot at running the whole Disney film division. Now as interesting as that could be, I don't want the animated division to suffer. He's a very, very busy man now. But imagine what the Disney line up would look like under his guidance. More commentary to follow later.
Here's Dick Cook's official statement:
"STATEMENT FROM RICHARD W. COOK, CHAIRMAN, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
I am stepping down from my role as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective immediately.
I have loved every minute of my 38 years that I have worked at Disney…from the beginning as a ride operator on Disneyland’s steam train and monorail to my position as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. To wrap up my Disney experience in a neatly bundled statement is close to impossible. But what I will say is, during my time at the Studio, we have achieved many industry and Company milestones. Our talent roster is simply the best in the business. I believe our slate of upcoming motion pictures is the best in our history. But most of all, I love the people, my colleagues, my teammates, who are the most talented, dedicated and loyal folks in the world. I know that I leave the Studio in their exceptional hands.
I have been contemplating this for some time now and feel it’s the right time for me to move on to new adventures…and in the words of one of my baseball heroes, Yogi Berra, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Here's Bob Iger's official statement:
"STATEMENT FROM ROBERT A. IGER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Throughout his distinguished 38-year Disney career, Dick Cook’s outstanding creative instincts and incomparable showmanship have truly enriched this company and significantly impacted Disney’s great legacy,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. “We thank Dick for his tremendous passion for Disney, and his many accomplishments and contributions to The Walt Disney Studios, including a very promising upcoming film slate. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we wish him the best with all the future has to offer."
If only this story was about Rasulo I'd be throwing a party instead of a wake...