Fox chief creative officer Tony Sella will exit the studio in the wake of a shake-up of the studio’s marketing department, an executive told TheWrap on Saturday.
The move comes two days after Fox fired marketing chief Oren Aviv, who with Sella ran the studio’s marketing department. Fox named Paul Hanneman, Tomas Jegeus as presidents of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing & Distribution, who came from the international side of the business.
Sella apparently decided not to stay.
The change amounts to an enormous amount of executive movement at Fox in the past year after years of relative stability. Studio co-chairman Tom Rothman left a year ago after a decade leading the studio with Jim Gianopulos. Sella has been considered the creative wizard behind Fox movie campaigns and been at the studio for two decades.
The marketing change amounted to a bad fit with Aviv. A former Disney production and marketing executive, Aviv came aboard in 2011 with the mandate of bringing strategy, order and structure to a department viewed as fly-by-the-seat-of-its-pants. The theory was that Aviv’s rigorous task-mastering could free the creative Sella to do what he does best — cook up cool trailers, posters and campaigns.
But the two clashed practically from the start and Aviv was regarded as unable to adapt his style to that of Sella’s.
Under the new structure, both the domestic and international marketing and distribution teams will report to Jegeus and Hanneman, instead of operating as independent silos.
Hollywood marketing chiefs have been something of an endangered species this year and have frequently found themselves blamed when movies don’t work commercially. Aviv’s exit follows the ousters of veterans Marc Weinstock at Sony, Terry Curtin at Relativity Media and Anne Globe at DreamWorks Animation.