Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Branded Television, announced he is stepping down from the position at the end of this year, and launching his own production company.
Marsh worked at Disney in various creative and leadership roles for 33 years. Most recently, he was named president and CCO for the company’s branded television group in late 2020, and was given oversight of all Disney-branded television content made by Disney General Entertainment (DGE) for kids, tweens, teens and families including live-action and animated movies and series, as well as unscripted series and specials.
At that time, the Disney+ unscripted content and production teams were also placed under the DGE umbrella, under the oversight of Marsh.
Through his time with Disney, on the scripted side, he was responsible for shepherding popular Disney titles such as High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, Descendants and Phineas and Ferb. Marsh also launched the Disney Junior channel during his tenure with kids’ programs like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, Elena of Avalor and Sofia the First.
Disney General Entertainment will back Marsh’s new prodco with a multi-year production deal to develop content for Disney’s streaming and linear platforms including Disney+, Hulu, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, ABC, National Geographic, Freeform and FX.
Programming created under Marsh’s guidance has been recognized with dozens of Emmy and Annie Awards, as well as a Peabody, Humanitas, Imagen, GLAAD, Gabriel, Christopher and Kid’s Choice Awards. Disney also partially credits Marsh with elevating the careers of stars like Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers, Zendaya, Demi Lovato, Shia LaBeouf, Hilary Duff, Zac Efron and Olivia Rodrigo.
“Gary’s leadership and creative genius have shaped a generation of beloved kids and family programming, and we are forever grateful for the indelible impact he’s made at The Walt Disney Company,” said Peter Rice, chairman of Disney General Entertainment in a news release.
“Gary is a valued leader and good friend, and we’ve been talking about this move for years. So when he decided to focus solely on producing after three decades of an amazing executive career, I jumped at the opportunity to keep him among us.”
According to the company, Marsh first began speaking with Disney about moving into production two and a half years ago. He agreed to stay on as president through the company’s acquisition of the Fox assets and its subsequent reorganization to focus on expanding development and production pipelines for Disney’s streaming platforms. Marsh and Rice are now planning for a smooth transition to a new Disney Branded Television leader by the end of the year.
Marsh is now finalizing the first projects that will be developed under his new production banner including two new Descendants films, a prequel to Beauty and the Beast, and projects like Tink, School for Sensitive Souls and Witch Mountain.
(With files from Barry Walsh)