Focus Features marketing chief Jason Cassidy has been promoted to vice chairman of the specialty studio, chairman Peter Kujawski announced in a staff memo on Wednesday.
“Jason has been instrumental in our push into new media platforms that have strengthened our campaigns immeasurably, and as we continue to grow the Focus Features brand and our loyalty programs, his leadership and vision will be a key asset for our entire team moving forward,” Kujawksi wrote in the memo.
Cassidy, in his expanded role, will continue to oversee the marketing division at Focus Features, which recently shepherded “Harriet” and “Downton Abbey” to the big screen. “Harriet” debuted to $12.6 million at the domestic box office, and “Downton Abbey” has grossed $178.8 million at box offices worldwide.
In addition to marketing duties, Cassidy will now work more closely on strategic planning, long-term initiatives, as well as the film releasing side of the Universal-owned business.
Cassidy, a 20+ year veteran in art-house film, joined Focus Features in 2016 from Open Road Films where he led the Oscar campaign for Open Road’s Best Picture winner “Spotlight.”
During his career, he has led more than 100 marketing campaigns resulting in more than $1.8 billion at the domestic box office.
Prior to Open Road, Cassidy ran the marketing department at Miramax Films, where he spearheaded campaigns for almost one hundred movies during his long tenure.
In the past two years Cassidy has been with the studio, Focus Features has garnered 18 Golden Globe and 26 Oscar nominations, including three for Best Picture.
Read Kujawski’s full memo to staff below:
I am excited to share with you an organizational change to our Leadership Team. Jason Cassidy has been promoted to Vice Chairman of Focus Features. In this role, Jason will continue to oversee all of Marketing and will now also work more closely on strategic planning, long-term initiatives and the film releasing side of the business. Jason has been instrumental in our push into new media platforms that have strengthened our campaigns immeasurably, and as we continue to grow the Focus Features brand and our loyalty programs, his leadership and vision will be a key asset for our entire team moving forward. In addition, he will continue to collaborate with Robert and me on our greenlight process and delivering on a strategic slate that brings diverse, distinctive stories and filmmakers to a global audience.
Since joining Focus in 2016, Jason has a proven track record of successfully leading our Marketing team to tremendous results and has been a key architect in building our best-in-class organization. With all our hard work — and the great support from Donna and everybody at Universal — we have been the #1 specialty distributor for three years running, and this year has been a record-breaking year for us with the phenomenal back-to-back hits of “Downton Abbey” and “Harriet.” In the past two years we’ve garnered 18 Golden Globe and 26 Oscar nominations, including three Best Picture nominations. We’ve also been recognized as The Hollywood Reporter’s Distributor of The Year and one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. I’m excited to see where we can all take it next.
Jason’s newly expanded role is a credit to all of you whose ideas, hard work and commitment have driven the organization forward in such exciting and innovative new ways. He is a key member of our leadership team, and I am proud to work with him, and with all of you, as we continue to strengthen and grow Focus as the premier specialty studio.
Please join me in congratulating Jason on this well-deserved promotion.