Fox Taps Oren Aviv as Chief Marketing Officer

The former Disney executive named to head up studio's domestic theatrical marketing, as we reported last month he would be

Oren Aviv has been tapped to serve as Fox's chief marketing officer and president of domestic theatrical marketing, the studio announced on Tuesday. 

TheWrap previously reported that the former Disney executive was weighing joining the studio last month. 

See Previous: Exclusive: Oren Aviv in Talks to Take Fox Marketing Position 

He will work alongside Tony Sella, president of Domestic Theatrical Marketing, and creative officer. Together the two will oversee all elements of Twentieth Century Fox's domestic marketing efforts. Aviv replaces longtime marketing president Pam Levine.

He will report to Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos. 

“Oren is one of the most talented film executives and marketing minds in our entire industry.” Rothman and Gianopulos said in a joint statement. “He is experienced yet innovative, determined and energetic, a proven leader and winner who is steeped in both traditional and cutting edge new media issues." 

In an interview with TheWrap, Aviv said that marketing was where change was most rapidly happening in the movie industry.

"As marketing drives people to engage, upload and download movies – this (marketing) is the eye of the storm," he said.

"Everything is movie marketing," he continued, "The film’s title. An announcement about casting. A script reviewed on a fan site. A director attaching himself to him or her project… So much information is available now. So we need to find ways to harness and use technology."

Aviv is best known for his two decades as a top executive at Disney, where he rose to become president of motion picture production, overseeing live-action development and feature film production.

He first came to prominence as Disney's president of marketing from 2000 to 2006, and later chief creative officer. During that time, he ran the campaigns for "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Chronicles of Narnia" and "National Treasure" franchises.

Aviv left Disney last January, as part of a palace cleaning once Rich Ross took the studio reins from Dick Cook. He was one of the last remaining major studio executives in place from the Cook regime.

Aviv starts his new job on February 7.

Full release below:

LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2011) __ Oren Aviv has been named President of Domestic Theatrical Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer for Twentieth Century Fox (TCF). Aviv will work alongside Tony Sella, who is President, Domestic Theatrical Marketing, and Chief Creative Officer. Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, to whom Aviv and Sella will report, announced the hiring today.

“Oren is one of the most talented film executives and marketing minds in our entire industry.” said Rothman and Gianopulos. “He is experienced yet innovative, determined and energetic, a proven leader and winner who is steeped in both traditional and cutting edge new media issues. We feel lucky indeed to have attracted someone of Oren’s wide-ranging capabilities and vision as we look to reshape modern movie marketing for the coming era. We have been longtime leaders in this area and continue to have numerous super talented people at work, but it’s a dynamic, changing time in the media universe and evolution is essential. Oren is uniquely suited to take us forward. With him and Tony, we will have the best one-two punch in the business.”

Sella and Aviv will oversee all aspects of TCF’s domestic marketing.

Commented Sella: “Our department has always been focused on progressive thinking and Oren will take us to a new level. He brings a unique portfolio of marketing expertise across a wide array of platforms and a pioneering approach to everything he's tackled, including film production. As we face radical shifts in our business, we are so lucky to be able to benefit from Oren’s expertise and drive to innovate.”

Aviv will join Fox on February 7.

Aviv commented: “I feel that the greatest opportunity for change is in marketing today, where innovation and strategy can make the biggest impact. I'm excited to become part of this legendary studio, and to join forces with Tom, Jim and Tony to meet the new challenges of an ever-evolving digital landscape.”

Aviv has been recognized widely for using innovative marketing strategies to drive significant global film campaigns and box office success during his tenure overseeing feature film marketing and production at The Walt Disney Studios.

Aviv was Disney’s President of Marketing from 2000 to 2006, and also was named Chief Creative Officer for The Walt Disney Studios in 2004. During that time, he launched the Pirates of the Caribbean, Chronicles of Narnia and National Treasure franchises, as well as the popular Step Up series. Aviv also designed the marketing and creative campaigns for such hits as The Sixth Sense, Finding Nemo, Pearl Harbor, The Incredibles, Ransom, The Rock, Signs, Monsters, Inc., Armageddon, Sister Act, Remember the Titans, Unbreakable, 101 Dalmatians, among hundreds of other films.

He was named Marketer of the Year three times by Advertising Age Magazine for Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles, and for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, in addition to receiving many other prestigious advertising awards.

After leading Disney’s theatrical marketing efforts, Aviv was appointed president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, overseeing all aspects of live-action development and feature film production for The Walt Disney Studios. In that role, he was in charge of the studio’s entire slate of live-action films from Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures.

Under Aviv’s production leadership, the Studio had major box office successes with films such as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Proposal, Secretariat, Tron: Legacy, as well as the National Treasure films which were based on his original idea.

A graduate of Columbia University, Aviv earned a BA in English and History. He joined Disney in 1991, after working for 3 years at the ABC Television Network as Director of Special Projects where he created promotions for the network’s upcoming shows.