The news, which came just as offices were emptying out for the weekend, stunned the entertainment industry for its suddenness, even as it revealed a rift between Cook and Disney Chief Executive Robert A. Iger. The studio has had an uneven box-office performance and has been struggling creatively. It lost money in its most recent financial quarter.
This, of course, came off the heel of a very successful D23 Expo where Cook revealed the slate of upcoming releases from the Walt Disney Studios.
I must say that while this is certainly unexpected, I am not totally surprised by it. Other than movies out of Pixar, the performance of the movie division after the Pirates franchise has been lethargic. The live-action movies have been generally a disappointment. But is this directly attributed to Cook? I don't know, but as is common for big companies, the head of the division is considered the one to take the blame.
Still, the news article hinted at what could possibly be a different approach to management between Iger and Cook.
Cook, the onetime Disneyland ride operator who rose to head the studio, is viewed as a traditionalist at a time when Iger is seeking new ways of doing business. Cook tended to be uncommunicative to the point of secretiveness -- a personal style that frustrated Iger, who emphasizes collaboration.
It will be interesting to see who takes over the studios.