Walt Disney Studios Ups Richard Cook To Chairman
Richard W. Cook has been promoted to chairman of The Walt Disney Studios where he will head production for Walt Disney, Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures. In addition, he will be responsible for worldwide distribution and marketing for live-action and feature animated films, worldwide home entertainment operations and the studio's legal and business affairs. He will report to both Disney chairman and CEO Michael D. Eisner, and Disney president and COO Robert A. Iger. Previously, Cook, a 31-year Disney veteran, had served for six years as chairman, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, overseeing domestic and international theatrical marketing and distribution, feature film acquisition, and worldwide home video. Cook began his career at Disney in 1970 as a ride operator at Disneyland. In 1971, he became a Disneyland sales representative and was promoted to manager of sales for the theme park. Cook moved to The Walt Disney Studios in 1977, serving as manager, pay television and non-theatrical releases. In addition, he was responsible for the early planning stages of The Disney Channel. In 1980, he was named assistant domestic sales manager for Buena Vista and subsequently became vice president and general sales manager, and then senior vice president of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution in 1988. He added marketing to his responsibilities in 1994.