After 33 years in creative and leadership roles at Disney, Gary Marsh will be stepping down as President and Chief Creative Officer of Disney Branded Television at the end of 2021 to launch his own production company.
Backed by Disney General Entertainment, Marsh’s multiyear production deal will develop “world-class, brand-defining content” for Disney’s streaming and linear platforms including Disney+, Hulu, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, ABC, National Geographic, Freeform and FX.
Marsh has led a storied career, developing and shepherding such winning Disney titles as “High School Musical” and the Miley Cyrus-helmed “Hannah Montana” franchises to the series that made Hilary Duff a star: “Lizzie McGuire.” Gersh also launched the Disney Junior Channel, home to such programs as “Sofia the First.”
Marsh says, “For 33 years, I’ve had the greatest job in television. The stories we’ve told, the music we’ve created, the stars we’ve discovered, the franchises we’ve built – all of it has entertained and engaged millions of kids and families around the globe. Thanks to the reach of Disney’s streaming platforms, those stories will live forever in the hearts and minds of future generations, alongside all the new stories I look forward to telling. There simply could not be a more compelling or creatively stimulating time to enter the production ranks.”
Disney General Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice adds, “Gary’s leadership and creative genius have shaped a generation of beloved kids and family programming, and we are forever grateful for the indelible impact he’s made at The Walt Disney Company. Gary is a valued leader and good friend, and we’ve been talking about this move for years. So when he decided to focus solely on producing after three decades of an amazing executive career, I jumped at the opportunity to keep him among us.”
Marsh’s move to the production ranks is the culmination of conversations that began with the company nearly 2 1/2 years ago. Marsh agreed to stay on as president through Disney’s acquisition of the Fox assets and the company’s subsequent reorganization to focus its content groups on expanding development and production pipelines to fuel the growth of Disney’s streaming platforms.
Marsh and Rice are now preparing for a smooth transition to a new Disney Branded Television leader before the end of the year.
In the meantime, Marsh is finalizing the first projects that will be developed under his new production banner — including two new “Descendants” movies, the prequel to “Beauty and the Beast” and projects “Tink,” “School for Sensitive Souls” and “Witch Mountain.”