Palen, who has been at Lionsgate since 2001, has been credited with innovative campaigns for some of the studio’s most successful titles, including “La La Land,” the four-film “Hunger Games” franchise, and “Wonder.” His decision to step down was part of a reshaping of the Lionsgate’s executive ranks following last fall’s arrival of Joe Drake as chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
The move comes as veteran Lionsgate executives Erik Feig and Patrick Wachsberger are leaving the studio. Lionsgate had a big send-off for Wachsberger, a force in the foreign sales world during Cannes. Wachsberger is exiting the company six years after it acquired Summit Entertainment and Feig has been raising money to launch a new company focused on youth-oriented entertainment properties, one that may include Lionsgate as an investor.
Nathan Kahane succeeded Feig last month as president of the Motion Picture Group. Palen will work with Drake in the search for a new theatrical marketing president.
As chief brand officer, Palen will continue to oversee the Lionsgate brand, which includes promotion of the company’s franchises and its location-based entertainment business. That includes a theme park in Dubai and Lionsgate Entertainment World in China, set to open next year.