Harris, who previously worked at DreamWorks and as head film buyer for the AMC Theaters chain, will be staying through the July 31 release of “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.” Paramount expects to announce his replacement in the next 60 days.
Harris replaced Jim Tharp in the post in 2011. He was hired by DreamWorks in 1995. With the 2006 sale of DreamWorks Pictures to Viacom, he moved to the Paramount lot to oversee the domestic sales division for the studio’s Motion Picture Group.
Paramount’s biggest domestic grosser in 2015 has been “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” with $163 million. The studio is opening “Terminator: Genisys” on Wednesday.
Harris oversaw the releases of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Interstellar,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “World War Z.”
Harris’ departure comes less than a year after Paramount’s chief marketing officer Josh Greenstein left the studio to join Sony Pictures as head of worldwide marketing and distribution. In March, Marc Evans was named president of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group, succeeding Adam Goodman.
Megan Colligan, president of worldwide marketing and distribution, issued an internal memo late Monday about Harris:
I am writing to let you know that Don Harris will be transitioning out of his role at Paramount Pictures at the conclusion of his contract to pursue other opportunities. We are very grateful for his dedication and leadership during his many years with the studio.
As President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution, he has established himself to be among the most respected executives in his field, and has lead Paramount to a tremendously successful run during his time here.
Please join me in wishing Don the very best.