After 33 years with the company, Gary Marsh is stepping down from his current role as president and chief creative officer of Disney Branded Television at the end of the year to launch his own production house.
Marsh is already preparing to transition and pass his responsibilities on to a new Disney Branded Television leader who should be in place before the end of the year. In the meantime, he’s finalizing the first projects that will be developed under his own banner, including two Descendants movies, a prequel to Beauty and the Beast, and new concepts Tink, School for Sensitive Souls and Witch Mountain.
Marsh’s new venture is backed by Disney General Entertainment, under a multi-year production deal designed to develop “world-class brand-defining content” for Disney’s streaming and linear platforms. His prodco, which was still unnamed at press time, will make content for all ages.
During his long tenure with the House of Mouse, Marsh has built some of Disney Channel’s biggest franchises, including High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire and Descendants. He is also responsible for the launch of Disney Junior as a network, and preschool programming such as Doc McStuffins and Elena of Avalor.
Marsh’s move to independent production follows many conversations with Disney over the last few years, according to a press release. Marsh initially agreed to stay on as president through Disney’s acquisition of Fox, and then the subsequent reorg to focus on content separately from the channel business.