Bill Abbott, the architect behind Hallmark's wildly successful "Countdown to Christmas" holiday programming, is exiting his job a little over a month after the cable channel pulled a same-sex Zola ads then reinstated them and apologized following a backlash. “After 11 years, Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media is leaving the company,” said Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc. “I want to thank Bill for his many years of success and contributions to Crown Media and wish him continued success.” Abbott's exit comes one month after a New Yorker profile touted his Hallmark Channel success. Yet while Abbott has overseen tremendous growth at Hallmark Channel, he's been repeatedly criticized for presenting a very white world with very little diversity. As The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg notes, "The network this holiday season made a big to-do about adding two Jewish holiday movies to its mix, though both of the titles featured a Jewish character being interwoven into a Christmas movie and not so much as a mention or indication of Hanukkah in their respective titles. The network's lack of casting diversity on-screen also became an issue this year." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter's TV's Top 5 podcast in November, Abbott defended the casting decisions: "I think that generalization isn't fair either, that we just have Christmas with white leads. In terms of broadening out the demographic, it’s something we’re always thinking about, always considering and we’ll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential."