Robert G. Friedman will step down as coo/vice chairman of the Motion Picture Group of Paramount Pictures to pursue other interests, it was announced today (July 12, 2005) by Paramount Chairman and CEO Brad Grey.
Friedman, vice chairman of the Paramount Motion Picture Group since he joined the studio in 1997 when, and later coo in 2002 to oversee all domestic and international marketing, publicity and distribution operations at Paramount, as well as Paramount Home Ent. and specialty division Paramount Classics.
"Rob has made many valuable contributions to Paramount's history, said Grey. When he told me several months ago that he wanted to move on, I asked him to stay on and open WAR OF THE WORLDS, he agreed, created a fantastic campaign, and the movie was Paramount's best opening ever. We thank him for his many years of dedication and hard work here at the studio and wish him the very best."
"I have had a great experience here at Paramount, but I told Brad a few months ago that it was time for me to find new challenges, said Friedman. It has been gratifying to be a part of some of the studio's greatest successes and I am proud of the team I have built here. I am confident that I am leaving the company in very good hands,"
Friedman will stay through Paramounts release of HUSTLE & FLOW, and THE BAD NEWS BEARS, and will serve as a consultant on the remaining titles on the 2005 slate.
Friedman was involved in the domestic marketing and distribution of TITANIC, the highest grossing film in history, as well as such Paramount hits LAURA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, WHAT WOMEN WANT, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 and SAVE THE LAST DANCE. His recent string of successful openings includes LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, COACH CARTER, SAHARA, THE LONGEST YARD, and WAR OF THE WORLDS.
Friedman spearheaded the creation of the studio's Classics division that has released critic picks YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, VIRGIN SUICIDES and MAD HOT BALLROOM. He testified on behalf of Paramount at the Federal Trade Commission hearings in Washington on the marketing of violence to children and helped design the industry's guidelines.
Friedman worked his way up from the mailroom at Warner Bros., rising through the ranks during his 25 years there. He was responsible for many successful campaigns, including the BATMAN, series, the LETHAL WEAPON films, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, DRIVING MISS DAISY, CHARIOTS OF FIRE and UNFORGIVEN. He left as WB president of worldwide marketing in 1997.
Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom, Inc., one of the world's largest entertainment and media companies and a leader in the production, promotion and distribution of entertainment news, sports and music.