“I no longer believe that the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me,” Ross told his staff via email Friday. “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.”
Ross joined the Disney family in 1996 as a programming and production executive for the Disney Channel and was eventually promoted to president in 2004. In 2009, Ross was hired as Disney Studio chairman, despite any prior film experience.
“For more than a decade, Rich Ross’ creative instincts, business acumen and personal integrity have driven results in key businesses for Disney. … 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,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.