Disney Studio Chief Steps Down

Walt Disney Co. studio chief Dick Cook shocked the entertainment community Friday with the announcement of his unexpected resignation from the massive corporation where he'd worked for nearly half a century.

Cook, who spent four decades with Walt Disney Co., said in a statement he was stepping down immediately from his position as studio chief to move on to "new adventures" outside the company.

"I have loved every minute of my 38 years that I have worked at Disney...from the beginning as a ride operator on Disneyland's steam train and monorail to my position as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios," Cook's statement read.

Cook, who's faced heat as several recent Disney releases have underperformed in the box office, didn't say why he was stepping down -- only that he had spent a long amount of time mulling over his decision.

"I have been contemplating this for some time now and feel it's the right time for me to move on to new adventures," he wrote.

Disney President and CEO Robert Iger said Cook was an employee with "outstanding creative instincts" and "incomparable showmanship" who would be missed inside the firm.

"On behalf of everyone at Disney, we wish him the best with all the future has to offer," Iger said in a statement.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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