Eddie Egan Exiting Illumination After 19 Years at Universal

Eddie Egan Exiting Illumination After 19 Years at Universal

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Longtime exec has been handling marketing at Illumination since 2011

Eddie Egan will leave Universal and the company’s animation studio Illumination Entertainment, NBCUniversal vice chairman vice chairman Ron Meyer announced in a staff memo Tuesday.

Egan (above right with Marc Platt) has worked at Universal for 19 years, most recently handling marketing at Illumination and launching “Despicable Me 2.” That film is the year’s highest-grossing animated movie and one of the most successful movies in the studio’s history.

Egan moved over to Illumination in 2011 after serving several years as Universal’s president of marketing — a position now held by Josh Goldstine — where he was responsible for the successful launch of the “Fast” franchise, the original “Despicable Me” and “Bridesmaids.”

No word on whether his post at Illumination would be filled.

The full message from Meyer, with a note from Meledandri, is below:

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Dear Co-Worker,

After 19 years together, I am saddened to share that Eddie Egan is leaving Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment.  Eddie has been an instrumental part of our success for almost two decades and he is one of the most uniformly respected and admired executives in our company.  His passion and dedication have played a critical role in building Universal’s marketing organization, which is one of the best in the business.  He’s also been a huge leader in the effort to  grow and expand our family entertainment brand, Illumination Entertainment.

Eddie’s credits with Universal are almost too lengthy to list, but one of his biggest and most recent contributions has been in establishing Despicable Me as a global tent pole franchise with Despicable Me 2 currently boasting worldwide grosses of more than $916 million.  He has helped make Illumination Entertainment an animation powerhouse with the success of Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2 and the smash hit,Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. 

Below is a note from Chris Meledandri about Eddie and another from Eddie to all of you:

“Eddie believed in Illumination and Despicable Me long before audiences around the world fell in love with Gru and the Minions,” said Meledandri.   “Eddie has always been a pleasure to work with and, through his strategic vision and marketing acumen, he helped build Despicable Me into a powerhouse franchise.”

“I've always considered myself someone who leads with caring, and I'm thankful that has resulted in a long history with both Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment that is filled with friendships and good memories,” said Egan.  “Most recently, I'm proud to have been a part of Illumination since its beginnings, and I leave with a real sense of accomplishment with where the company is, and a certainty of the exciting ways it will grow in the future.  Today I look both to mentors, who gave me chances, support and encouragement, as well as to those for whom I hope I've extended the same opportunities, and it's difficult to feel anything but complete and grateful.”

Please join me in wishing Eddie the best of luck and success in all of his future endeavors.  He is and will always be a member of our Universal family.