After less than three years on the job, Rich Ross is out as chairman of Walt DisneyStudios.
Ross' departure, which was largely expected throughout Hollywood, follows a period of management upheaval at the Burbank-based studio and a pair of two high-profile box office flops: last year's"Mars Needs Moms"and the Martian adventure film"John Carter,"for which Disney acknowledged it would take a $200-million write-down -- one of the largest in movie history.
Ross, who had built the Disney Channel into a global powerhouse, was promoted in October 2009 as successor to studio veteran Dick Cook. Despite achieving success with Disney Channel shows such as "High School Musical," Ross lacked experience in the movie business.
Many inside and outside Disney were skeptical at the time that a TV executive with limited film experience could transition successfully to running a large movie studio.
-- Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times