Jim Gianopulos to become chairman and CEO of reorganised studio, now renamed Twentieth Century Fox Film.

Rothman’s departure will end one of the most successful joint studio leaderships of modern times. The executive served with Gianopulos since 2000 and presided over a slate that features Avatar (pictured), Titanic, the Ice Age and X-Men franchises, Little Miss Sunshine and Sideways.

Twentieth Century Fox Film comprises Twentieth Century Fox Film, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions and Fox Home Entertainment. The Fox Filmed Entertainment label has been dropped.

Twentieth Century Fox Television includes Fox Television Studios and Fox 21 and is now an autonomous business unit within News Corporation and will no longer be combined with the Company’s film operations. Current co-chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman will now report directly to News Corporation president and COO Chase Carey.

“I have been at Fox for over 18 years, the bulk of my adult working life,” said Rothman. “In that time we have accomplished more than I ever imagined, from the founding and nurturing of Fox Searchlight, to overseeing the two biggest films in box office history, to keeping us consistently at the highest levels of industry profits, including this most recent strong fiscal year, and, most of all, making dozens of films that I believe will stand the test of time.

“I’m deeply proud of that run. But even more, I am eternally grateful to have had the honour and opportunity to work with the marvelous people here at Fox. I will miss them hugely. Still, I have done the same job, at the same place, for a very long time, and it is time for me to write a new chapter. I love 20th Century Fox and take great comfort knowing that we have an amazing slate of pictures in place for the next several years. I know that Jim and all my terrific colleagues at Fox, will continue our long tradition of winning ways, and I will help in the transition in any ways I can.”

News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said: “Tom has played a critical role in building our film business into one of the industry’s leading studios. He has spearheaded a legacy that includes many of the business’ biggest grossing films, consistently outstanding profits, and enduring quality. I know great success will continue to follow him. We are well positioned for future success under the leadership of Jim Gianopulos, whose talents will ensure that we continue to engage audiences around the world on multiple platforms.”

Carey added: “Tom has created one of the strongest portfolios of films in the industry and we will forever be grateful for his decades of contributions. He is clearly one of the most passionate film executives in the business and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

“Jim has been an equal driving force in bringing some of the greatest films of all time to audiences around the world over a career that spans more than three decades. I am confident that Jim will take our film business to new heights.” 

Gianopulos said: “For the past 11 years, Tom and I have had a truly wonderful partnership, and have enjoyed both great success and a true sense of mutual respect and camaraderie. I will always value working with him and his keen creative mind, profound commitment to film and tireless work ethic, all of which will serve him well as he pursues his next chapter. While I’ll miss having him as a great partner, I will always value him as a beloved friend. All of us at Fox wish him continued and even greater successes in the future.”

Prior to becoming chairman of the studio Rothman served as president of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, president of production for Twentieth Century Fox and founded Fox Searchlight in 1994 and served as its president.