Dave Hollis, a former Disney executive who served as the company’s president of worldwide distribution until resigning in 2018, died Saturday night at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 47 years old.
Hollis had been recently hospitalized for heart-related health issues, though no exact cause of death has been determined.
Hollis became Disney’s theatrical distribution chief in 2011, taking the reins from a retiring Chuck Viane. Hollis’ tenure coincided with several of the largest box office successes in the studio’s history, shepherding titles from Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and Pixar, as well as live-action remakes of animated classics and new animated features.
The resounding achievements that came with Hollis’ leadership made his 2018 resignation from the company all the more surprising. Well-liked within the industry and an affable ambassador for Disney, Hollis left the studio (and California) to become CEO of Chic Media, a Texas-based production company founded by Hollis’ wife at the time, Rachel Hollis. The two divorced in more recent years.
“I can’t count the number of ‘pinch-me’ moments I’ve had in my time at Disney,” Hollis said in a statement at the time of his resignation from the company. “In a world where so few opportunities could compare, the chance to support my wife and help grow her company was something I couldn’t pass up.”
Beyond his time as an executive, Hollis also hosted his own podcast, Rise Together. He is also a published author who has written two self-help books, “Get Out of Your Own Way: A Skeptic’s Guide to Growth and Fulfillment” and “Built Through Courage: Face Your Fears to Live the Life You Were Meant for,” as well as a children’s picture book, “Here’s to Your Dreams!: A Teatime with Noah Book.”
Hollis founded the Dave Hollis Giving Fund, which aims to provide support to children in foster care and homeless teenagers. He was also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served on the boards of Fandango Labs, Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers and National Angeles.
Hollis is survived by his four children.