Disney Names Ricky Strauss as Marketing Chief



Strauss will replace MT Carney, the controversial executive who joined Disney in April 2010 with no prior experience in the film industry and announced her resignation earlier this week.

Ricky Strauss, the president of Participant Media, has been tapped as Disney's new head of worldwide marketing, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Strauss will replace MT Carney, the controversial executive who joined Disney in April 2010 with no prior experience in the film industry and announced her resignation earlier this week. With the choice, Disney chief Rich Ross is selecting a seasoned executive who has worked on The Help, the DreamWorks-produced drama that Disney distributed in 2011 with much success.

The selection of Strauss ends of the most the active guessing games in town. Industry insiders ran virtually every conceivable name up the flagpole only to have it shot down again. As recently as yesterday, rumors flooded Disney that former New Regency executive Bob Harper was joining the studio.

Disney had been openly looking for a replacement for Carney for months. Some have speculated that she finally departed simply because she was tired of the open search for a replacement. But others believed that War Horse's disappointing performance upset Steven Spielberg and that the timing of her departure was related to his displeasure. The hiring of Strauss, who was involved in marketing DreamWorks’s one stand-out hit, The Help, gives some weight to the latter theory.

Disney faces big challenges in the coming months. The studio will release the pricey sci-fi action adventure John Carter in March, and this summer brings The Avengers, the first Marvel Studios picture to be marketed and released by Disney since the company purchased Marvel.

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