Rich Ross, former chairman of The Walt Disney Studios and president of Disney Channels Worldwide has been named CEO of Shine America.
Ross will succeed Carl Fennessy, who will return to Australia upon the completion of his pre-determined two-year term in Los Angeles. Fennessy, joint CEO for Shine Australia, will also be present for the hand-over to Ross, who joins the Shine America team in January.
“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 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.”
“I am very excited to join Liz, Alex and the entire Shine team which has shown how a creatively-led content company can both be global in scope, yet nimble and entrepreneurial in local territories,” added Ross. “I look forward to furthering the expansion of Shine America’s portfolio both by adapting Shine’s hit shows from around the world, as well as creating new original content.”
Ross began his career at Nickelodeon, and then joined FX Networks in 1993 as part of its executive launch team. In 1996, he joined Disney Channels Worldwide, rising to the position of president and oversaw such hits as Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, Phineas and Ferb and That’s So Raven as well as the creation of original movie franchises High School Musical, Camp Rock and The Cheetah Girls. In 2009, he was named chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, a position he held until April of this year.
“I have known and admired Rich for many years,” said Elisabeth Murdoch, chairman of Shine Group. “He is a world-class executive and the ideal leader to build on our extraordinary momentum at Shine America. I am personally delighted that he has decided to join us and he will be a brilliant addition to the whole group. We all welcome him warmly.
“On behalf of everyone at Shine, I would like to thank Carl for his outstanding leadership over the last 18 months,” she added. “He will be missed in America as much as he will be welcomed home in Australia.”