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Exec oversaw marjketing for 'Fast' franchise

Eddie Egan is leaving Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment after almost two decades at the studio, where his successes have included “Bridesmaids” and the “Despicable Me” and “Fast” franchises.

NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer made the disclosure Tuesday in an email to employees, called Egan “one of the most uniformly respected and admired executives in our company.”

The studio did not indicate whether Egan’s slot as head of marketing at Universal’s Illumination Entertainment would be filled.

“His passion and dedication have played a critical role in building Universal’s marketing organization, which is one of the best in the business,” Meyer said. “He’s also been a huge leader in the effort to grow and expand our family entertainment brand, Illumination Entertainment.”

Egan (pictured above with Universal chairman Donna Langley and producer Marc Platt) held the top marketing slot at Universal until mid-2011 when Josh Goldstine took over the post while Egan  moved over to head marketing at Illumination.

“Eddie’s credits with Universal are almost too lengthy to list, but one of his biggest and most recent contributions has been in establishing ‘Despicable Me’ as a global tent pole franchise with ‘Despicable Me 2′ currently boasting worldwide grosses of more than $916 million,” Meyer said. “He has helped make Illumination Entertainment an animation powerhouse with the success of ‘Despicable Me,’ ‘Despicable Me 2′ and the smash hit, ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.'”

Chris Meledandri also said in a message, “Eddie believed in Illumination and Despicable Me long before audiences around the world fell in love with Gru and the Minions. Eddie has always been a pleasure to work with and, through his strategic vision and marketing acumen, he helped build ‘Despicable Me’ into a powerhouse franchise.”

The missive concluded with a message from Egan:

“I’ve always considered myself someone who leads with caring, and I’m thankful that has resulted in a long history with both Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment that is filled with friendships and good memories. Most recently, I’m proud to have been a part of Illumination since its beginnings, and I leave with a real sense of accomplishment with where the company is, and a certainty of the exciting ways it will grow in the future. Today I look both to mentors, who gave me chances, support and encouragement, as well as to those for whom I hope I’ve extended the same opportunities, and it’s difficult to feel anything but complete and grateful.”

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