Rob Friedman has left Global Road Entertainment, IM Global, and Open Road Films as chairman and chief executive officer two months after Global Road filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Friedman, who has held top executive posts at Lionsgate, Summit, Paramount, and Warner Bros., was expected to depart the positions at Global Road, which was launched in 2017 by U.S.-China broker Donald Tang’s Tang Media Partners. Global Road is the combination of Open Road Films, the Oscar-winning studio behind “Spotlight” that Tang Media Partners purchased in 2017 for $28.8 million, and IM Global, a sales and production company that it bought in 2016 for a rumored $200 million.
At the time of the unveiling of Global Road, Tang said he hoped to release approximately 15 films a year, while focusing on bridging the cultural and business divide between China and the U.S. But the distribution operations sustained box office flops with “Hotel Artemis” and “A.X.L.,” then pulled the Johnny Depp thriller “City of Lies” from its slate. Lenders took over the operations after the bankruptcy filing.
Friedman, who left Lionsgate in late 2016, came on board to Tang Media in mid-2017 shortly after longtime IM Global founder and chief Stuart Ford was ousted. The Tang companies were re-branded as Global Road Entertainment in October, 2017.
Friedman launched his career in 1970 in the mailroom at Warner Bros. and eventually became resident of worldwide advertising and publicity.In 1997, he became vice chairman of the Paramount Motion Pictures Group and added the role of chief operating officer.
Friedman joined Patrick Wachsberger as co-chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment in 2007, then joined Lionsgate in 2012 when Summit was purchased by Lionsgate. He served as co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group before leaving two years ago. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
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