Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ron Miller: The Disney CEO You've Never Heard Of.

Ron Miller and his cousin Roy E. Disney.  AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
In 1978 I would turn one years old. It was a momentous year, and not just for me. At the Walt Disney Company The Magic Kindgom in Walt Disney World would mark its seven year anniversary, Pete's Dragon would be nominated for an Oscar, The Cat From Outer Space would see its theatrical debut and the Abominable Snowman (men) would be in introduced to the Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland. Also in 1978, The Walt Disney Co. would see Walt's Son-In-Law, Ron Miller, become CEO of the company.

Ron inherited a monumental task, to hold the rudder of a company still floundering after the passing of it's creator roughly twelve years earlier and attempt to catch trade winds which could bring it back to profitable harbors. To frame the struggle: The last film the Disney Co. could call a hit was The Love Bug released ten years prior to Ron's ascension to chief executive. While the culmination of Miller's work as head of the company may be dubious, it can't be denied that he made changes that would have a lasting impact on the Disney Co. (which are frequently misattributed to Miller's successor).

Losing Ron Miller is losing one of our strongest ties to Walt. It's hard not to be a little affected by seeing this tangible link fade away. I celebrate the era of Ron Miller's Disney Company, the Disney of my youth and the fond nostalgia the fruits of his labors bring.

I recommend learning more about Ron Miller:

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