Richard W. "Dick" Cook is the former Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. At the time of his separation from the company, he was the only remaining top Disney executive who had worked for the company since before Michael Eisner took charge in 1984. Cook holds a degree in political science from the University of Southern California (USC).
Cook began his career with Disney in 1970 as a monorail and steam locomotive amusement park ride operator at Disneyland in Anaheim and moved to the Disney Studios in Burbank in 1977 to manage pay television and non-theatrical releases. In 1980, he moved to the company's film distribution department, eventually heading both its distribution and marketing efforts. He earned a reputation there by his marketing of Disney's home video collection and hosting media-worthy movie premieres, for example securing a United States Navy aircraft carrier based in Pearl Harbor to host the debut of the film Pearl Harbor.
In 2002 Eisner named him as Peter Schneider's replacement as chairman of studios, popularly called the studio chief. Cook was in charge of developing, distributing and marketing all films, live-action or animated, released by Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures. Cook was also the executive in charge of the Disney Music Group, which encompasses Hollywood Records and the better known Walt Disney Records. He also oversaw the Home Entertainment and Home Entertainment International divisions of Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group. He was responsible for legal and business matters relating to the studio.