Dave Hollis is stepping down as head of distribution at Disney. He will be replaced by Cathleen Taff, who will assume the slightly unwieldy title of executive vice president, theatrical distribution, franchise management and business & audience insights.
Hollis, a well-liked executive with a genial sheen that made him perfect for being an ambassador for the family-friendly company, is leaving California to move with his wife, Rachel Hollis, and children to Texas. He will become CEO of his wife’s company, Chic Media, a producer of content for moms and millennial women.
“I can’t count the number of ‘pinch-me’ moments I’ve had in my time at Disney, and in a world where so few opportunities could compare, the chance to support my wife and help grow her company was something I couldn’t pass up,” said Hollis in a statement.
Hollis will be at the studio through May and will work with Taff during the transition. His time at Disney coincided with a hot streak at the studio. Thanks to blockbusters such as “The Avengers,” “Frozen,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Disney has been top in market share for the past two years with its theatrical revenues setting an all-time record in 2016 by surpassing $7 billion globally.
Taff is a 24-year veteran of Disney, who most recently headed up integrated planning and franchise management. She previously led the Disney Music Group as senior vice president and general manager from 2009 to 2013 and was senior vice president and controller of the Walt Disney Studios from 2003 to 2008.
Taff’s new role helps to bring the rollout and management of the films from Disney brands such as Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm under one umbrella. In addition to overseeing the company’s franchises and analytics, Taff will add theatrical distribution to her portfolio.
“It’s an exciting time at our studio as we continue to chart new territory in so many areas, and when we approached the idea of more closely aligning our robust global distribution operation with our franchise and analytics work, we saw a compelling opportunity to further leverage the strengths of these fantastic teams,” Taff said. “I’m honored to take on this unique role and, most of all, thankful to be working with the best people in the business, who represent, to me, the limitless possibility that makes Disney special.”