Box Office Report - Press Release: The Walt Disney Studios Names Cathleen Taff to Lead Global Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management, and Business & Audience Insights in Newly Created Role

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Press Release

The Walt Disney Studios Names Cathleen Taff to Lead Global Theatrical Distribution,
Franchise Management, and Business & Audience Insights in Newly Created Role

Press Release:

BURBANK, Calif. – March 5, 2018 – The Walt Disney Studios’ Cathleen Taff has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management and Business & Audience Insights, it was announced today by Studio President Alan Bergman.

This new, expanded role brings the global theatrical distribution, franchise management, and consumer insights and analytics for the Studio’s collection of films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm under one umbrella. Taff currently leads franchise management and business and audience insights and will maintain oversight of those areas. She will take over management of theatrical distribution from Dave Hollis, who is moving with his family to Texas. Hollis remains in the role through May and will work with Taff during the transition.

“The creation of this new role is a significant step in more effectively supporting and expanding the presence of The Walt Disney Studios’ world-class collection of filmmaking studios, and Cathleen Taff is the perfect person to take it on, having demonstrated an expansive knowledge of our business, incisive creative instincts, and boundless resourcefulness over the course of her multifaceted career at Disney,” said Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios. “Having worked closely with Cathleen for over 20 years, I know her to be a savvy business executive and a skilled team and relationship builder who is greatly respected across the board by colleagues and filmmakers. I could not be more thrilled to work with her as we continue to evolve our Studio business.”

A 24-year Disney veteran, Taff has steadily taken on roles of greater responsibility at The Walt Disney Studios. Prior to her most recent role, Taff headed up Integrated Planning and Franchise Management, driving collaborative efforts across The Walt Disney Studios and The Walt Disney Company to maximize the value of the Studios’ world-class brands and creative properties. She previously led the Disney Music Group as SVP/General Manager from 2009 to 2013 and was SVP/Controller of The Walt Disney Studios from 2003 to 2008.

“It’s an exciting time at our Studio as we continue to chart new territory in so many areas, and when we approached the idea of more closely aligning our robust global distribution operation with our franchise and analytics work, we saw a compelling opportunity to further leverage the strengths of these fantastic teams,” Taff said. “I’m honored to take on this unique role and, most of all, thankful to be working with the best people in the business, who represent, to me, the limitless possibility that makes Disney special.”

Hollis has led Disney’s theatrical distribution organization since 2011, overseeing the release of some of the biggest global successes in industry history, including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Frozen,” and the live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” During his tenure, Disney achieved new benchmarks at the domestic, international, and global box office, setting an all-time record in 2016 as the first and only studio to surpass $7 billion globally and $3 billion domestically in a calendar year, and in 2017 becoming the only studio to have surpassed the $6 billion mark globally twice. Hollis also spearheaded Disney’s innovative Cinema Partnerships initiative, collaborating with exhibitors to enhance the theatergoing experience through custom branded content programs and offerings.

“I am very thankful to Dave for his dynamic and fearless leadership of our distribution organization, which has seen our Studio to incredible heights at the worldwide box office, culminating in our three biggest years on record and, in 2016, the biggest year in industry history,” said Bergman. “We are very sad to see him go but wish him and his family all the best.”

Hollis, who will become CEO of his wife’s company, Chic Media, said of his departure: “I can’t count the number of ‘pinch-me’ moments I’ve had in my time at Disney, and in a world where so few opportunities could compare, the chance to support my wife and help grow her company was something I couldn’t pass up. It’s been an honor to work with such amazing people over these past 17 years, and I am deeply grateful for each and every one of these friendships and experiences as my family and I embark on the next chapter in our lives. One of those remarkable people is Cathleen Taff – I could not be passing the torch into more bold, capable, or caring hands.”

About The Walt Disney Studios
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; and Lucasfilm. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.

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