EXCLUSIVE: I’ve confirmed that Rob Friedman will be leaving as chairman/CEO of beleaguered Global Road, immediately and as expected. Friedman hung in after the lenders took control of Donald Tang’s fusion of IM Global and Open Road, the latter of whose assets will be bought in bankruptcy by Raven Capital Management for $87.5 million.
Friedman, the longtime top exec at Warner Bros, Paramount and more recently who partnered with Patrick Wachsberger to turn Summit Entertainment into a powerhouse that was acquired by Lionsgate. Friedman became co-chairman of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, and was vice chair at Paramount back in the day.
His exit was confirmed to Deadline by Tang Media Partners, with the following statement:
“Tang Media Partners announced that Rob Friedman is departing today as Chairman and CEO of Global Road Entertainment, IM Global and Open Road Films. “Rob has gone above and beyond the call of duty and worked tirelessly to help our companies through their difficulties, and we are grateful for those efforts and sad to see him go.”
Global Road, after promising to spend $1 billion in productions over three years — Friedman made the pitch at the Berlin Film Market last winter and hired to create an infrastructure to facilitate the expansion — hit the rocks in terms of finding that funding, and a series of costly flops soured both new investors and Global Road’s lenders, which closed the door on the company and abruptly laid off around 50 staffers. Friedman stuck around trying to clean up this mess, but nobody thought he could continue in the long term.,