Disney Shake-Up: Sean Bailey Exits As Production President, David Greenbaum Of Searchlight Assumes Role

Sean Bailey, the producer-turned-executive at Walt Disney Studios, bids farewell, paving the way for David Greenbaum to assume the role of President for Disney Live Action and 20th Century Studios.

Published on Feb 27, 2024  |  12:01 PM IST |  40.2K
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Sean Bailey (Left) David Greenbaum (Right) (Getty Images)

Sean Bailey, the producer turned executive of Walt Disney Studios’ live-action division is exiting the studio after almost 15 years. He is being replaced by David Greenbaum, who will take over the newly created role of president, Disney live action and 20th Century Studios. Greenbaum previously ran Searchlight Pictures. 

Per the Studio’s announcement on Monday, in his new role, Greenbaum will lead “a combined studio group that will be home to both iconic film brands, producing a robust collection of original and legacy projects unique to each for theatrical and streaming, while increasing collaboration across the production slate.” 

In light of the significant reorganization at Disney, it's worth examining David Greenbaum’s background and previous achievements. After all, he will be tasked with overseeing the delivery of iconic and high-value mouse house projects in the future.

David Greenbaum has quite a reputation in the filmmaking space

Nomadland (IMDb)

During Greenbaum’s tenure at Searchlight, the executive had his name attached to not one but many Oscar-winning projects including The Shape of Water and Nomadland. He also was involved with other prestigious projects like The Menu, The Favourite, Wild, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and more. Before that, as a development executive at Miramax Films, he worked on films like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. His most recent critically acclaimed project is titled Poor Things, which has already garnered numerous prestigious awards this awards season and remains one of the top contenders for the 2024 Oscars.


Welcoming Greenbaum on board as president of Disney live-action and 20th Century Studios, Disney Entertainment co-chairman Alan Bergman said in a statement, “David has an incredible creative sensibility and eye for film, and he has built a reputation as an exceptional leader and creative executive, as proven by his track record at Searchlight Pictures and deep relationship throughout the industry.” 

Expressing joy over his new role at Disney, David Greenbaum in a separate statement said, “I want to thank Bob Iger and Alan Bergman for the extraordinary opportunity to continue the legacy of fabled and groundbreaking storytelling at both Disney and 20th Century – it's an honor and responsibility I don’t take lightly, and I’m eager to get to work with Steve Asbell and the teams.” 

In his statement, Greenbaum also looked back fondly at his time with Searchlight. 

“At the same time, the last 14 years working alongside and in partnership with my dear friend and colleague Matthew Greenfield have been unforgettable — Searchlight and the incredible team there remain the gold standard for quality in our business, and I look forward to watching their continued success in the years to come,” he said.

David Greenbaum has big shoes to fill — Sean Bailey has delivered numerous acclaimed projects for Disney over the years 

The Lion King (IMDb)

Sean Bailey joined Disney as president of production in 2010. He spearheaded the strategy of moving away from original movies to focus on remaking the company’s animated classics into live-action films. As a result, Disney delivered several billion-dollar blockbusters including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King under his leadership.


Expressing gratitude for his time at Disney, Bailey said, “These 15 years at Disney have been an incredible journey."

He added, “I joined Disney while producing Tron: Legacy, so it seems fitting that I will have the opportunity to work on the latest film Tron as I depart. I wish Bob Iger, Alan Bergman, and all my amazing colleagues the very best for a bright future.” 


Who is David Greenbaum and what is his background in the film industry?
David Greenbaum is an executive known for his successful tenure at Searchlight Pictures, where he oversaw the production of Oscar-winning films like The Shape of Water and Nomadland, as well as other acclaimed projects.

What were some of Sean Bailey's notable achievements during his time at Disney?
Sean Bailey's notable achievements during his time at Disney include championing the studio's shift towards live-action adaptations of animated classics, such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

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Greetings! I'm a storytelling enthusiast with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Mumbai University.



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