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Disney president of global theatrical distribution Chuck Viane—an iconic figure in the distribution business—said Monday he will retire on July 1 after 25 years at the studio.
He’ll remain a consultant for a year following his departure.
Viane has been mulling retirement for some time, so his exit isn’t a total shock to colleagues.
“Being on the front lines at Disney over such an exciting period in the film industry has been an extraordinary experience. I’ve worked on the best projects, I’ve worked with the best people and I’m proud of the things we’ve accomplished together,” Viane said. “Now I’m looking forward to watching my grandkids grow – and maybe getting to sleep in on Sunday mornings.”
Disney announced that David Hollis, who comes from the international distribution side, is being promoted and will assume all of Viane’s duties.
However, the studio is tweaking the job position. Hollis won’t have the title of president. He’ll be executive vice president, theatrical exhibition sales and distribution.
Shift has to do with the organizational structure Disney chair Rich Ross put into place when taking over the top post, including naming Bob Chapek president of distribution across all divisions of the studio.
Viane reports directly to Chapek, as will Hollis.
As part of Ross’ restructuring, Viane also received expanded duties. Previously serving as president of domestic distribution, he was was put in charge of international as well.
“Chuck is one of the most knowledgeable and savvy individuals in the film industry,” Ross said. “Throughout his distinguished career at Disney, he has proven himself to be a rare legend, deeply respected by those who have had the privilege to work with him here as well as by exhibitors and colleagues around the world.”
Starting out on the exhibition side, Viane joined Disney in 1985 and has helped shepherd the theatrical distribution operation through rapidly changing technological and economic times, including significant international expansion.
Under Viane’s leadership, annual domestic box office grosses have reached $1 billion 13 times. In 2010, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 each grossed $1 billion worldwide, a milestone.
Joining Disney a decade ago, Hollis was most recently senior vice president of distribution for Disney Intl., where he was responsible for the sales and distribution operation across 70 countries.
“I’ve had the pleasure of watching Dave’s career thrive here at Disney and I know I am leaving the team in very capable hands,” Viane said.
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