Rob Friedman is one of the leading executives in the entertainment industry. From August 2017-November 2018, he was the chairman and CEO of TMP Entertainment, overseeing all IM Global and Open Road’s projects and operations. From 2012 to 2017, he served as co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group following Lionsgate’s acquisition of Summit Entertainment, a company he founded and built into a leading motion picture production and distribution company. While at Lionsgate, Friedman was in charge of all aspects of Lionsgate’s feature film acquisition, production and distribution operations. During his tenure, Lionsgate became the first studio outside the traditional majors to generate over $1 billion at the United States box office, a feat it repeated two years in a row. In 2017, under Friedman’s leadership, Lionsgate received the highest number of Academy Award nominations, 26 in total, with six wins for La La Land and two for Hacksaw Ridge, the most of any studio. La La Land also broke the record for most Golden Globes for a single film, receiving seven awards.
In building Summit Entertainment, Friedman served as co-chairman and CEO from 2007 to its sale to Lionsgate in 2012. He was responsible for building the company’s systems and operations to allow it to operate as the most efficient global production and distribution company. Under his leadership, Summit launched the global blockbuster The Twilight Saga franchise, whose five films grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office, and had success with such films as Now You See Me and The Hurt Locker, the 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Picture and Best Director. Under his leadership, Summit’s investors realized a 900% return on their investment in a five-year period and at the time of Summit’s sale to Lionsgate, Summit operated the most efficient distribution platform for companies distributing major theatrical motion pictures.
Friedman began his career in 1970 at Warner Bros. Over his 27 year career at Warner Bros., he held a series of different positions including serving as president of worldwide advertising and publicity where he was responsible for the global marketing of Warner Bros’ films.
In 1997, he moved to Paramount Pictures as vice chairman of the Paramount Motion Picture Group, adding the role of chief operating officer and ultimately overseeing seven divisions including UIP Distribution, Paramount’s joint venture with Universal for the international distribution of its films outside of the United States. While at Paramount, he also created Paramount's specialty film division, Paramount Classics.
Friedman has held numerous philanthropic leadership positions and received widespread recognition during his entertainment industry career. In November 2010, he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Media, Entertainment and Communications for his work in building Summit. He has been honored by the Saban Free Clinic, where he was elected to the Friends of the Saban Free Clinic Board, and in 2013 received the United Friends of the Children Brass Ring Humanitarian Award. 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 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, where he played 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.