Rich Ross, the head of Disney film-making studio, has resigned as chairman a month after the film John Carter became one of the company’s biggest flops.
The 15-year Disney veteran revealed his move by email: “I no longer believe that the chairman role is the right professional fit for me.”
Rich Ross, 50, became chairman in 2009.
He was previously the president of the Disney Channel when it created the hugely successful High School Musical and Hannah Montana series.
Rich Ross, the head of Disney film-making studio, has resigned as chairman a month after the film John Carter became one of the company's biggest flops
At the movie division, Rich Ross approved production of the science fiction film John Carter, although it had been in development before he joined the studio.
The film, which was based on a series of books by Tarzan writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, eventually cost more than $250 million and last month Disney said it expected the film to lose about $200 million.
That would leave the studio with $80 million – $210 million in operating losses.
Disney is not expected to appoint a new studio chairman immediately.
The company’s Chief Executive Bob Iger hailed Rich Ross’s contribution: “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.”
Rich Ross joined the Disney Channel in 1996 as a programming and production executive and was promoted to president of the cable channel in 2004.
Walt Disney expects to lose $200 million on its new movie John Carter, making it one of the biggest flops in cinema history.
The John Carter film, about a military captain transported to Mars, could result in an $80-120 million loss for Disney’s movie business during the current quarter.
Disney shares fell 1% in after hours trading after the announcement.
The company is still likely to make a substantial quarterly profit, though, thanks to its TV businesses.
It is estimated that John Carter cost $250 million to make and it is likely that Disney spent another $100 million on marketing.
Walt Disney expects to lose $200 million on its new movie John Carter, making it one of the biggest flops in cinema history
The film’s director, Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, had previously had great success with films such as Finding Nemo and Wall-E.
The John Carter film is based on a series of books written by the author of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The series began with A Princess of Mars in 1912 and ended with John Carter of Mars, published after the author’s death in 1964.
The film has taken no more than $184 million at box offices worldwide, with cinema owners receiving about half of that total.
It is difficult to compare losses on films, as studios reveal little financial detail and allowances have to be made for inflation.
The Hollywood Reporter says that last year’s biggest flop was Mars Needs Moms, which cost $150 million to make and only took $39 million at the box office.
Disney will be hoping for success from other big budget movies due for release later this year.
The list includes The Avengers, due to be released in May, and Brave, set to be released by Disney Pixar in June.