Tom Rothman Stepping Down As Chairman And CEO Of 20th Century Fox

Tom Rothman, who has served as Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox, has announced that he will be stepping down from his position on January 1, 2013. Taking his place will be Jim Gianopulos, who will be given control over all studio operations.

THR originally picked up the story from a source, but the news has since been confirmed by Rothman himself, having sent a letter to the trade confirming his retirement. You can read the full email over on the THR article and read an excerpt below:

My Dear Friends,I have decided that, after more than 18 years -- the bulk of my adult working life -- I am resigning as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, effective January 1, 2013. During my time at Fox, thanks to you, we have together accomplished more than I ever imagined possible, from the founding and nurturing of Searchlight, to overseeing the two biggest films in box office history, to consistently ranking at the top among studio profitability year in and year out (including our most recent strong fiscal year), and, most of all, making dozens of exceptional films that I believe will stand the test of time. I’m proud as hell of that run. But I’ve done the same thing, at the same place, for a long time (indeed, in the 75 year history of our studio, no one has supervised movies for longer except Darryl Zanuck himself). I do need some new challenges and to write a new chapter.I love Fox and all of you and take comfort knowing that, although there is never a perfect time to leave, because the slate for the next several years is in awesome shape, this is at least a pretty good one. I know that Jim G. and all of you will continue our long tradition of winning ways, and I will be rooting hard for you. I will also be around until the end of the year to help with the transition and celebrate some of the hits we are about to have.

With the news of Rothman's departure also comes other reports from inside the studio. THR says that News Corp. - Fox's parent company - is planning on separating film and television production units, with the film department changing its name to 20th Century Fox Film and the TV department turning into 20th Century Fox Television.

In a statement to the press, News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said, "Tom has played a critical role in building our film business into one of the industry’s leading studios. He has spearheaded a legacy that includes many of the business’ biggest grossing films, consistently outstanding profits, and enduring quality. I know great success will continue to follow him. We are well positioned for future success under the leadership of Jim Gianopulos, whose talents will ensure that we continue to engage audiences around the world on multiple platforms."

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.