5 things to know about Tom Rothman, Sony motion picture group’s new head

Tom Rothman has been tapped as the next chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment's motion picture group.

Tom Rothman has been tapped as the next chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s motion picture group.

Rothman replaces current chair Amy Pascal, who will step down in May to become a producer for Sony Pictures.

Get to know Rothman better:

Education: He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1976, where he studied English and American Literature. He went on to Columbia Law School, where he was named a James Kent Scholar — the school’s highest distinction — twice.


Earlier life: Before rising up the studio ranks, Rothman was an English teacher and a lacrosse coach at the Salisbury School in Connecticut (he played the sport while at Brown). He has also worked as a law clerk on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

House of Fox: Prior to joining Sony in 2013 to head its TriStar Productions unit, Rothman had an 18-year stint at 20th Century Fox. He served as co-chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 to 2012 with Jim Gianopulos. During his time at the studio, Fox released box-office juggernauts: “Avatar,” which grossed $2.8 billion, and “Titanic,” which took in $2.2 billion, both directed by James Cameron.

Rothman had a reputation for being a penny-pincher to the dismay of agents and producers, but to the delight of his bosses. He was ultimately forced out of his job in 2012, as we reported.

He held various other titles including during his tenure, including president of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, president of production for Twentieth Century Fox and president of Fox Searchlight, which he founded when he joined the studio in 1994.


Camera time: Rothman, while co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, hosted “Fox Legacy,” a show on the Fox Movie Channel that examined the history of classic films. It ran from 2007 to 2010, tallying 30 episodes.

“I try to have a sense of humor,” he told the N.Y. Times of the gig, “and remember the basic absurdity of all of this.”

Priceline negotiator? Rothman serves on the board of directors of the online travel site He is also a member of the boards of Brown University and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

**Bonus: According to the bio on his website, he calls people “Hun.”


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