Andrew Essex is leaving his role as CEO of Tribeca Enterprises after just 18 months and will be transitioning into an advisory role through the end of the year. Tribeca Executive Chair and co-founder Jane Rosenthal is set to step in as interim CEO.

The news was sent out to the Tribeca team today via memo from Rosenthal (posted below in full). It lauded Essex’s work with Rosenthal and the team charged with overseeing the business side of our operations. “Partnerships have grown exponentially, and our award-winning Tribeca Studios content business has continued to thrive,” Rosenthal wrote. “Andrew has brought a new perspective, diligence and organizational expertise to the Company. I am grateful for his dedication to Tribeca and for the dedication of our strong partnership and business teams, which have played an integral part in the success of Tribeca over the years.”

The memo states that Rosenthal and executive VP Paula Weinstein will continue to oversee the creative areas and programming of Tribeca, providing programs for storytellers and audiences alike. This includes the Tribeca Film Festival and the recently launched Tribeca TV Festival, whose debut edition in September featured Oprah Winfrey, Trevor Noah as well as the cast of Will & Grace.

Essex, a onetime advertising journalist who went on to co-create and run ad agency Droga5, is well-connected in the brand world. He was considered a somewhat surprising choice for Tribeca, which was handing off the CEO duties to someone other than Rosenthal, who had closely managed the company along with De Niro and a third co-founder, Craig Hatkoff, since the beginning. The move came in close proximity to a parting of ways with key execs like longtime festival director Genna Terranova, who left for Amazon, and chief creative officer Geoffrey Gilmore.

Tribeca has long been an ambitious outfit, expanding from a modest festival launched just months after the Sept. 11 attacks to add assets like international festivals, for-profit education and the Tribeca Film distribution label. While the rate of growth has slowed somewhat, Tribeca has still launched new ventures like a partnership with Lionsgate on the Tribeca Shortlist streaming service. In 2014, the Madison Square Garden Co. became a 50% stakeholder in the company.

Here is Rosenthal’s full memo:

Dear Team Tribeca,

Bob and I wanted to let you all know that Andrew Essex is leaving his position as CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and, starting today, will transition into an advisor role.  I will serve as interim CEO, and continue as executive chair of Tribeca.

For the past 18 months, Andrew has worked with me and our senior leadership to lead our amazingly talented Tribeca team charged with overseeing the business side of our operations. Partnerships have grown exponentially and our award-winning Tribeca Studios content business has continued to thrive.  Andrew has brought a new perspective, diligence and organizational expertise to the Company. I am grateful for his dedication to Tribeca and for the dedication of our strong partnership and business teams, which have played an integral part in the success of Tribeca over the years.

Paula Weinstein and I will continue to oversee the creative areas and programming of Tribeca, providing exceptional programs for storytellers and audiences alike. Tribeca TV Festival successfully launched to sold-out audiences, trended on Twitter, live streamed on Facebook and featured everyone from Oprah and Trevor Noah to the cast of Will & Grace, who hosted a surprise premiere of their show. We could not have met that success without each and every one of you.

Over the last few years, Tribeca Studios has been one of the top creators of original storytelling for brands.  The team has produced work with partners such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Heineken, Prudential, Bai, TUMI, and more. The work from Tribeca Studios is important to us in an age where everything is content but good stories are paramount.

As we turn our attention to the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and look to build on last year’s film, TV, talks, online work and gaming successes, I know our incredible team will again deliver the best Festival program and experience.

Please join me in thanking Andrew.  We look forward to continuing to work with him as an advisor.   

Sincerely,

Jane