Chapek promoted in Disney shake-up

To oversee distribution in wake of Zoradi's departure

Rich Ross has opted against naming one executive to succeed ousted Disney film president Mark Zoradi, but the new studio chairman gave a big attaboy and promotion to home entertainment topper Bob Chapek in regime changes unveiled Wednesday.

Chapek was promoted to a post overseeing the studio's distribution activities. Zoradi had overseen marketing and distribution operations at the film studio; Disney said a top marketing exec would be named soon.

Disney marketing president Jim Gallagher, who reported to Zoradi, is leaving the company.

Among other promotions, Disney business-affairs boss Alan Bergman will take on additional responsibilities involving postproduction and some other operations, and production president Oren Aviv gains oversight of physical production. Pixar technology head Greg Brandeau was upped to Disney chief technology officer and executive vp.

All four promoted execs will report to Ross.

"The way today's audiences and consumers experience our movies, home entertainment and other multiplatform programming is rapidly changing as new technology offers more options than ever before," Ross said. "The studio restructuring will embrace new possibilities and opportunities and find innovative ways to provide quality entertainment that is readily available."

Ross, who topped Disney Channel before his Oct. 6 elevation to succeed the ousted Dick Cook, said "a certain amount of change is inevitable" as he develops a new strategy for film production and delivery at Disney. He downsized the Miramax specialty unit and accepted the resignation of Miramax president Daniel Battsek.

In tapping Chapek, Ross invests faith in a 16-year Disney veteran who in July added supervision of digital distribution to his packaged-media responsibilities. Chapek took over as president of home entertainment in 2000 after holding several exec posts on the lot in home entertainment marketing.

Chapek was an early champion of Blu-ray Disc in its high-definition format battle with now-defunct HD DVD, advocated by some rival studios.

"Bob Chapek has been at the forefront of new technology for many years and has the expertise and track record to guide and consolidate our future distribution efforts," Ross said.

Disney domestic distribution president Chuck Viane and international distribution president Anthony Marcoly will report to Chapek. The restructuring was expected to result in turnovers of several exec positions, but the top execs in physical production and postproduction -- Bruce Hendricks and Jeffrey Miller, respectively -- will remain in place and with Hendriks reporting to Aviv and Miller reporting to Bergman.

Borys Kit in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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