Rich Ross, former chairman of The Walt Disney Studios and president of Disney Channels Worldwide, has been named CEO of Shine America, Shine Group said Tuesday.
In January, Ross will take over from Carl Fennessy, the current CEO, who will return to Australia in the middle of next year after completing his two-year term at the company in Los Angeles.
"We are delighted that Rich will be coming to Shine America to build on the brilliant and transformative work achieved under Carl's tenure," said Alex Mahon, Shine Group's CEO, in a statement. "Rich is an outstanding creative leader, responsible for not only launching iconic franchises but overseeing explosive growth in broadcast brands under his direction. He is perfectly suited to lead Shine America into its next phase of growth and complements Shine Group's senior team of creative entrepreneurs globally."
Shine America -- the U.S. division of the U.K.-based production company founded by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch - produces such shows as Fox's MasterChef and NBC's The Biggest Loser. Coming up for the company are Oxygen's The Face; FX's The Bridge, which is the company's first scripted pilot; and Shine America's first Spanish-language production, MundoFox's Minuto Para Ganar, which is the Spanish-language version of Minute to Win It.
In recent months, Shine America also has launched a New York-based format label, Ardaban.
Ross began his career at Nickelodeon, rising to vice president of program enterprises. He joined FX Networks in 1993 as part of their launch executive team, overseeing development and production for the network. In 1996, Ross joined Disney Channels Worldwide, rising to the position of president.
In that role, he was responsible for developing and launching such hit shows as Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, Phineas and Ferb and That's So Raven, as well as creating original movie franchises High School Musical, Camp Rock and The Cheetah Girls.
Most recently, Ross served as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios from October 2009 to April 2012. Films released during that time included Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and the reboot of The Muppets starring Jason Segal and Amy Adams. The studio also released Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 and DreamWorks Studios' The Help during that time. As chairman, Ross oversaw all elements of development, production, marketing and distribution for the film, musical and theatrical divisions.
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