The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Gerry Rich is out at Paramount

August 15, 2008 | 12:22 pm

Rich_3 This one is a shocker. Even though Paramount has been having one of the best summers in recent memory, Gerry Rich, the studio's head of worldwide marketing, just called to say he is leaving his job  He insists that he wasn't pushed out, an insistence that anyone leaving Paramount has to make, considering the constant in-fighting and the frequent executive departures over the past few years at the studio.

"It was my decision," Rich told me. "No one pushed me out the door. It's been an incredible summer, with  'Iron Man' and 'Indiana Jones' and 'Kung Fu Panda' and 'Tropic Thunder,' but I thought it was time to move on. I asked to be let out of my contract and after everyone thought it over, they very graciously said that if that was what I wanted, I could leave. It's been a great 4 1/2 year run, but I just felt it was time. Frankly, marketing executives don't often get to leave when they're on top and I just wanted to make a change. It's been a great ride."

It is expected that the studio will announce that Josh Greenstein and Megan Colligan, who've both been working under Rich, will take over as co-presidents of marketing. I'll have more to say about this as the news settles in, but it can't be a good sign for Paramount when someone with Rich's savvy and creativity as a marketer is so eager to bail out of his job.   

Photo of Gerry Rich by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.