Exec to serve as senior adviser
Filling some of the void left when Tom Sherak ankled Fox for Revolution Studios, Robert Harper, formerly president of worldwide marketing for Fox Filmed Entertainment, has been named vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox and executive vice president of Fox Filmed Entertainment.Harper will report to Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, chairmen of Fox Filmed Entertainment. “This new appointment will increase efficiency at the studio,” Rothman told Daily Variety. Harper will assume many of Sherak’s responsibilities. He will serve in a senior advisory role, assisting in all aspects of the company’s creative strategies. Fox’s worldwide marketing, domestic theatrical distribution, post-production and acquisition departments will report to him. “Bob has more than 15 years experience here at the film company, and is a great marketer and an excellent strategic thinker,” said Rothman in a statement. “This promotion allows us to take maximum advantage of all those assets and consolidate reporting as well.” Added Gianopulos: “Bob has been an enormous resource, not just in marketing but in discerning audience trends and bringing a creative focus to our overall strategy. His unique ability to convey his vision in support of the work of the talented individuals in the areas now under his supervision will allow them to flourish even further.” Harper said: “I am excited to find new opportunities at the studio and for the studio. I’m also excited to be part of Tom’s and Jim’s reshaping of the company for the future and to contribute in any way I can, particularly creatively.” Marketing maven Harper became prexy of worldwide marketing for Fox Filmed Entertainment in January 1998 and has overseen the marketing of such films as “X-Men,” “Big Momma’s House” and “There’s Something About Mary.” In his former marketing post, Harper oversaw marketing for the entire studio, including theatrical, home entertainment, licensing and merchandising, music and Fox Searchlight Pictures. He also oversaw corporate marketing strategy in conjunction with Gianopulos and Rothman. Harper has held a variety of positions at Fox. He began his tenure at the studio as manager of trailers and was promoted to director of creative advertising and then veep of creative advertising before becoming the studio’s veep of production. He returned to domestic marketing in 1989 as president, overseeing the campaigns for such successful films as “Home Alone,” “Die Hard II,” “The War of the Roses” and “Edward Scissorhands.” In 1991, he entered into independent production with his Fox-based Featherstone Productions, developing and producing the 1993 summer pic “Rookie of the Year.” In 1995, he returned to marketing as president, overseeing the marketing of “Independence Day” among other pics.