Exec eager to step away from corporate culture

Pat Wyatt, president of Fox homevideo and consumer products, has resigned to start up an indie film production and financing company specializing in Japanese-style animated programming produced specifically for home viewing.

Wyatt’s departure after seven years with the studio, including five overseeing video, comes as Fox is enjoying one of its biggest video sales seasons ever, with “Ice Age” and “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” ranking among the top DVDs of the quarter.

She said she is eager to step away from the corporate culture for a while and try to reconnect with her family roots in Japan. Her grandfather, Kiyoshi Masumoto, was one of the founding fathers of Japanese cinema, having started one of the first Japanese studios and created a theater/school of Japanese drama focusing on stories about real life, she said.

“I feel like my grandfather brought Western culture to Japanese cinema; now I’d like to bring Eastern culture to the West,” Wyatt said.

“Pat’s enormous contributions are integral to the fiscal and operational excellence of our North American Home Entertainment business,” Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos said in a statement. “Her talents will be missed, and we wish her the best with her production and financing endeavor.”

Fox has no announcement as yet about replacements for Wyatt either on the video or consumer products side, although it is believed those units will once again be put under separate execs. Sources at Fox and within the video industry believe that Fox Home Entertainment exec VP of sales and marketing Mike Dunn has been groomed for the top video post.

Wyatt joined the company in 1995 as president of 20th Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising.

Former Fox studio head Bill Mechanic gave her the additional oversight of the video unit five years ago following the departure of former video president Jeff Yapp.

Her new company, the name and details of which will be forthcoming, will combine the look of animation created by Japanese and Korean companies with stories that have a beginning, middle and end, she said. The company will also produce theatrical films.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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