/// Anne Sweeney Is Leaving Disney

March 11, 2014  |  Media Week

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced that Anne Sweeney is leaving the company, effective January 2015, so that she may devote time to directing. An 18-year Disney veteran, Sweeney currently serves as co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group. John Skipper is the Mouse House’s other co-chair, and he also is president of ESPN. Sweeney joined Disney in 1996, signing on as president of Disney Channel and evp of Disney/ABC Cable Networks. Before that, she was president and CEO of FX Networks. Sweeney broke the news to The Hollywood Reporter . Shortly, after that story went live, Disney issued an official press release. “I’ve been a part of an amazing evolution in our business and our industry, and have achieved far more than I ever thought possible,” Sweeney said, by way of announcing her decision to move on. “But as wonderful as the experience has been, there has always been a nagging voice in the back of my head pushing me to step out of the comfort zone of the executive ranks and more directly into the creative arena that enticed me to TV in the first place.” Sweeney went on to add that while her plan to walk away from corporate life to pursue a discipline in which she is untutored may seem a bit peculiar, directing a TV series would prove to be the culmination of “a long realized dream.” She then thanked Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger for his “leadership, guidance and his friendship over the years,” before saying that Iger had offered her an extension on her contract. Sweeney will remain in place through the end of the year, where she looks to “position the TV Group for even greater success.” For his part, Iger credited Sweeney with growing Disney Channel into a global powerhouse while making ABC “a strong, successful content creation engine.” He went on to “applaud Anne for knowing what she wants out of life and for having the courage to follow her dream.” While a short list of executives is rumored to be in line to succeed Iger when he steps down in June 2016, Sweeney’s name is rarely listed among them

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Anne Sweeney Is Leaving Disney

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