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Paramount executive resigns

Worldwide marketing chief Gerry Rich was said to be frustrated over management changes at the studio.

August 16, 2008|Claudia Eller | Times Staff Writer

Gerry Rich has resigned as president of worldwide marketing at Paramount Pictures, despite having nearly two years left on his contract.

Rich declined Friday to specify why he had asked his bosses for an early out other than to say, "I felt it was time to leave. I'm going to take some time and regroup and figure out what comes next."

At Paramount, Rich oversaw campaigns for such films as "Tropic Thunder," "Iron Man," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "Transformers" and "The Love Guru." One of the first films he marketed at the studio was "Mean Girls."

Paramount insiders said Rich had grown frustrated over management changes at the studio since former talent manager Brad Grey took the reins in 2005. Since then, a number of top executives have either left the studio or been shuffled to other jobs. Rich was hired in 2004 by longtime studio chief Sherry Lansing.

Rich, these people said, was not happy when two of his colleagues, Josh Greenstein and Megan Colligan, were promoted this summer to co-presidents of domestic marketing, creating what he considered a top-heavy organization.

Rich's boss, Paramount Vice President Rob Moore, elevated the pair after the studio folded the marketing, distribution and physical production operations of its specialty film label, Paramount Vantage, into the main studio.

Moore said he would split Rich's worldwide marketing responsibilities between Greenstein and Colligan, who will handle the domestic side, and Paramount Pictures International President Andrew Cripps, based in London.

"Gerry's built an incredible team and we wish him the best in whatever he chooses to pursue," Moore said.

Before joining Paramount, Rich headed marketing at MGM/United Artists for 8 1/2 years and previously held top marketing posts at Miramax Films and Columbia Pictures, where he began his career in the late 1980s working for Dawn Steel.

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claudia.eller@latimes.com

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