Rob Friedman’s career in the film business spans more than 40 years, and he has held top-level posts at several major studios, including Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., also having served on the Motion Picture Academy’s Board of Governors and earning a reputation as a philanthropic leader within the Hollywood community.
He was named co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group in January 2012 following the company’s acquisition of Summit Entertainment, where he served as co-chairman and CEO for the following four years, overseeing all aspects of Lionsgate’s feature film acquisition, production and distribution operations as well as the home entertainment releases of Lionsgate’s theatrical feature films. During Friedman’s tenure, Lionsgate became the first studio outside the traditional majors to break the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office, a feat it repeated two years in a row.
Before joining Lionsgate, Friedman served as co-chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment for five years, building Summit into a leading independent worldwide motion picture production and distribution studio. Under his direction, Summit launched the global blockbuster The Twilight Saga franchise, whose five films grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office, and scored with such hits as the action comedy Red and The Hurt Locker, the 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Picture and Best Director.
Friedman began his career in 1970 in the mailroom at Warner Bros. and held a series of progressively responsible executive positions during his 27-year tenure culminating in president of worldwide advertising and publicity for the studio, where he was directly responsible for the Academy Award Best Picture winners Chariots of Fire, Unforgiven and Driving Miss Daisy. He was also involved in integrating the companies involved in the Time Warner merger and subsequent acquisition of Turner Broadcasting.
In 1997, Friedman moved to Paramount Pictures as vice chairman of the Paramount Motion Picture Group, adding the role of COO and ultimately overseeing seven divisions. He created the studio’s specialty film division, Paramount Classics, and prepared the studio to capitalize on the rapidly growing DVD marketplace. Recently, he received the Publicists’ Guild Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award, recognizing 40 years of achievement as a motion picture industry leader.
Friedman has held numerous philanthropic positions and is a longtime leader in the Special Olympics movement, serving on the Special Olympics Southern California Board for the past 16 years and founding the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee, playing an integral role in bringing the 2015 World Games to Los Angeles. He also currently serves on the board of United Friends of the Children, International Medical Corps, Saban Community Clinic and the Curtis School Board of Trustees.