Illumination has hired Sam Bergen as chief marketing officer.
In his new role, Bergen will oversee all aspects of the company’s creative and business marketing, including print and audio-visual advertising, as well as graphic and product design.
He’s replacing Gail Harrison, who served as CMO since December 2018. Harrison is stepping down from her role and will remain at the company as special adviser to Illumination and its founder and CEO Chris Meledandri.
“Illumination is a case study in innovation and storytelling, and I am beyond excited to join the team,” Bergen said. “I have long been inspired by Chris’s ability to tell such globally impactful stories and I am thrilled to jump in and help continue to harness that unique creativity across all of our consumer touchpoints from marketing and digital platforms, to products and theme parks.”
Prior to joining Illumination, Bergen was at Beats by Dr. Dre and most recently served as the vice president of global brand creative. He also worked at Vice, where he was hired to built out the west coast creative offering. Bergen began his career in Hollywood as an assistant editor before transitioning to entertainment marketing.
“Sam’s global brand experience combined with his commitment to creating original work that blurs the lines between marketing and content make him the perfect person to lead this team as we continue to build our globally-recognized franchises,” Meledandri said.
Meledandri also praised Harrison, who built and led Illumination’s marketing team over the past decade and oversaw campaigns for movies and franchises including “Despicable Me,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing.”
“Gail has spent the last decade helping me take Illumination’s visual aesthetic and translate it beyond the movie screen,” Meledandri said. “She is one of the most creative and innovative executives I know and I look forward to continuing our collaboration. Her new role will allow her to dive more deeply into projects that will define the evolution of our company.”