Robert Harper is leaving his position as vice chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment to head the studio's most important outside supplier of movies and television programming, Regency Filmed Entertainment.
As the top executive at Regency, Harper will oversee New Regency Productions, its feature film division, as well as Regency Television. New Regency produced such hits as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." The TV unit was behind "Malcolm in the Middle."
News Corp., the parent company of Fox Filmed Entertainment, owns a 20% stake in Regency, which is controlled by founder Arnon Milchan. Harper succeeds Regency's former CEO David Matalon, who left this month and now has a production deal on the Fox lot.
"While we will miss Bob's daily counsel and guidance, we're fortunate that we will continue working closely with him in his new role at Regency," Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman said in a statement.
Regency Enterprises is based on the Fox lot in Century City and distributes its TV shows and movies exclusively through Fox. It is one of the few production companies that churn out a steady supply of commercial films.
Harper joined the 20th Century Fox marketing department in 1985 and within four years was promoted to president. He oversaw campaigns for such films as "Home Alone" and "Die Hard 2." In 1991, he became an independent producer based on the Fox lot, producing the 1993 comedy "Rookie of the Year." In 1995, he rejoined 20th Century as president of marketing, and in 2004 he became vice chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment.
"I'll still be dealing with the same Fox machinery but will focus on five or six movies a year and two TV shows instead of 30 movies," Harper said.
"We will sit down and talk about putting together a focused plan about what we will develop and what gaps need to be filled at Fox."