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Fox makes Sherak No. 3

Tom Sherak has been upped to the newly created position of senior executive vice president at 20th Century Fox, making him the third highest-ranking exec at the studio.

“This move reflects not only Tom’s valuable contributions to 20th Century Fox over the years, but moreover signals our intent to put Tom’s experience to good use,” said Peter Chernin, Fox chairman. “He is clearly a talented executive and we are asking Tom to participate in setting the strategic direction of our films and the studio as a whole.”

Sherak, who has been at Fox for 11 years and through nine regimes, will continue to oversee all domestic theatrical distribution in addition to becoming more involved in the studio’s overall operations and decision-making.

In the announcement, Fox prexy Bill Mechanic called Sherak one of the studio’s “top assets.”

“I’m happy about the promotion because it allows me to be involved in all areas of the company,” Sherak told Daily Variety Monday. “I’m not looking to make movies, but I will be another arm to help make the decisions.”

Sherak said his new title would not necessarily put him into the creative side of film production, although he would still be available to offer assistance when the studio needs it with a producer or director.

“But I’m the type of person who likes to wait to be asked,” he said.

Sherak also will be instrumental in helping chart the studio’smove toward increasing film production, an effort that has gotten under way recently with the creation of a new family film division. Chairman Chernin has said that he’d like to see annual output increase to 25 films from about 14.

Sherak joined Fox in 1983 as the president of domestic distribution and marketing. In 1990, he was promoted to exec veepee.

“I continue to think that this is the greatest business in the world,” Sherak said. “And every time I see the Fox logo come up on the screen, I still get chills. To me, that logo is bigger than anybody at this studio and it always will be.”

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