Richard Fox, International Film Industry Pioneer, to Step Down from Reponsibilities at Warner Bros. This Summer
(May 16, 2017 – Burbank, CA) – Richard Fox, who has been with Warner Bros. 42 years and served the last 25 as Executive Vice President, International, will be stepping away from his executive responsibilities this summer. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros., with whom Fox worked closely to develop opportunities emerging from the company’s international growth, focusing most recently on China.
“Anywhere you go in the world, people in the film business love and respect Richard,” said Tsujihara. “He knows the markets, he knows the players and he’s been an incredible executive and ambassador for the company. For more than 40 years, he has been at the forefront of our efforts to establish the Studio as a global entertainment leader. I thank him for his many contributions to the company and join his Warner Bros. colleagues around the world in wishing him all the best.”
Fox has been the driving force behind the growth of Warner Bros.’ local language film production activities. Since 1999, Warner Bros. has been the producer, financier and/or distributor of more than 600 films in more than 20 countries around the world. Among the more notable releases on this roster are “Les Bronzés 3,” “Honig Im Kopf” and the “Rurouni Kenshin” film trilogy.
Throughout his career, Fox has developed relationships with an impressive array of internationally recognized directors and producers, including Til Schweiger, Alfonso Cuarón, Stanley Kubrick, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, George Miller, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, David Puttnam, Pedro Almodóvar, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Giuseppe Tornatore, Carlo Verdone, Jiang Wen and Ken Watanabe.
“Richard was a key architect of the relationship between Warner Bros. and CMC, including the founding of Flagship Entertainment,” said Li Ruigang, Chairman of CMC (which was previously known as China Media Capital). “His expertise and experience in the global entertainment business have been invaluable as our companies explore various opportunities to work together. He’s a great partner, and I wish him well on his next chapter.”
“Richard is such a wonderful, great man, warmhearted and full of dignity,” said Schweiger. “It was always a pleasure to work with him. Congratulations on his incredible career. I will miss him tremendously!”
“Richard really understands both the art and the business of filmmaking,” said Cuarón. “His knowledge and experience in the global marketplace made him an asset on the local-language films I’ve made for Warner Bros. Knowing Richard, he may be retiring, but he’s not going to slow down. I wish him well on whatever he sets his sights on next.”
Having joined the company at a time when studios were just beginning to realize the potential of the overseas marketplace, Fox has spent his entire professional career at Warner Bros. He started in 1975 as a management trainee working in Australia and Japan. In 1977, he became Managing Director of Columbia-Warner Distribution in New Zealand, and in 1978, he was named Managing Director of Warner Bros. in Tokyo (for Japan and Korea). Returning to the U.S. in 1981, he joined the office of the President of Warner Bros. Pictures’ international theatrical distribution division. In 1982, he was named Vice President, Sales, moving up to Executive Vice President in 1983, and thereafter was named President of the division in 1985, a post he held for seven years.
Fox was instrumental in introducing the Country Manager structure to help the company optimize its profitability and collaboration across its divisions in key overseas territories. Warner Bros. currently has Country Managers in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and China.
In January 2016, Fox relocated to Beijing to spearhead the expansion of the Studio’s activities in China, as well as oversee Warner Bros.’ 49 percent interest in Flagship Entertainment, a Chinese language film co-production joint venture with China Media Capital (CMC) founded in 2015. In August 2016, Gillian Zhao was named Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. China. She has worked closely with Fox over the last eight months and now oversees all of the Studio’s in-country businesses as well as its stake in Flagship.
Fox has received a number of commendations for his efforts to promote film production and movie-going around the world. In 2006, France appointed him Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) and in 2011, he was promoted to Officer de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters), both in recognition of his lifetime commitment to cultural diversity, as exemplified by his achievements in the world of international film. Fox was also the recipient of the inaugural CinemaCon Passepartout Award in 2011.
In 2008, Fox received the honorary title Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic), which is conferred by the President of the Italian Republic on Italian and foreign citizens who have distinguished themselves through lasting contributions to Italian society.