In a surprise move, News Corporation announced today that Tom Rothman will be stepping down as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment at the end of the year. The film leadership will now be consolidated under current Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and television operations will be realigned as a stand-alone unit under News Corporation. Here’s the full announcement:
News Corporation today announced that Tom Rothman will step down as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment at the end of the year. Leadership of the film unit has been consolidated under Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, who has served with Rothman since 2000.
I have been at Fox for over 18 years, the bulk of my adult working life, Rothman said. In that time we have accomplished more than I ever imagined, from the founding and nurturing of Fox Searchlight, to overseeing the two biggest films in box office history, to keeping us consistently at the highest levels of industry profits, including this most recent strong fiscal year, and, most of all, making dozens of films that I believe will stand the test of time. Im deeply proud of that run. But even more, I am eternally grateful to have had the honor and opportunity to work with the marvelous people here at Fox. I will miss them hugely. Still, I have done the same job, at the same place, for a very long time, and it is time for me to write a new chapter. I love 20th Century Fox and take great comfort knowing that we have an amazing slate of pictures in place for the next several years. I know that Jim and all my terrific colleagues at Fox, will continue our long tradition of winning ways, and I will help in the transition in any ways I can.
In conjunction with Rothmans departure, News Corporation announced a reorganization of its studio operations that separates the film and television production units. As a result, the film business will now assume the name Twentieth Century Fox Film, and is comprised of Twentieth Century Fox Film, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions, and Fox Home Entertainment.
Twentieth Century Fox Television, which also includes Fox Television Studios and Fox 21, is now an autonomous business unit within News Corporation, and will no longer be combined with the Companys film operations. Accordingly, current Co-Chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman will now report directly to Chase Carey, News Corporations President and Chief Operating Officer.
Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, commented: Tom has played a critical role in building our film business into one of the industrys leading studios. He has spearheaded a legacy that includes many of the business biggest grossing films, consistently outstanding profits, and enduring quality. I know great success will continue to follow him. We are well positioned for future success under the leadership of Jim Gianopulos, whose talents will ensure that we continue to engage audiences around the world on multiple platforms.
Chase Carey, President and COO of News Corporation, commented: Tom has created one of the strongest portfolios of films in the industry and we will forever be grateful for his decades of contributions. He is clearly one of the most passionate film executives in the business and we wish him well in his future endeavors.
Jim has been an equal driving force in bringing some of the greatest films of all time to audiences around the world over a career that spans more than three decades. I am confident that Jim will take our film business to new heights. Carey continued, As we continue in our commitment to develop superior television content, I look forward to working more closely with Gary and Dana, who, with hits like Homeland, Glee, Modern Family, American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy, are unquestionably one of the best teams in the business.
Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film, commented: For the past 11 years, Tom and I have had a truly wonderful partnership, and have enjoyed both great success and a true sense of mutual respect and camaraderie. I will always value working with him and his keen creative mind, profound commitment to film and tireless work ethic, all of which will serve him well as he pursues his next chapter. While I’ll miss having him as a great partner, I will always value him as a beloved friend. All of us at Fox wish him continued and even greater successes in the future.
Rothman is one of the longest tenured studio heads in the modern Hollywood era, and has supervised filmmaking activities at Fox for over eighteen years. Before becoming Chairman, he held the positions of President of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, President of Production for Twentieth Century Fox and, in 1994, was founder and President of Fox Searchlight. A few of the many enduring films made under his oversight include: Life of Pi, Taken, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Black Swan, Cast Away, Master and Commander, Walk the Line, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada, Borat, the X-Men and Ice Age series, Little Miss Sunshine, Minority Report, Moulin Rouge, Boys Dont Cry, Sideways, Theres Something About Mary and the top two grossing movies of all time: Titanic and Avatar. Fox Films during this time have been nominated for over 100 Academy Awards, won three Best Pictures, and earned in excess of $25 billion in worldwide box office sales.
(Photo Credit: HRC/WENN.com)