Friedberg will serve as President of the international division after previously serving as President of International Sales since 2015. In his new role, he will oversee the international film strategy reporting to STX Chief Operating Officer Thomas McGrath and he will be based out of the company’s London office, which will continue to serve as headquarters for international sales and marketing, as well as the UK theatrical distribution business.
There has been uncertainty in recent months about the ongoing makeup of STX’s international hierarchy with rumours swirling about potential departures. With Kosse heading to Netflix, the step up was seemingly a better fit for Friedberg than a move away.
“John has tremendous knowledge of the international market and an incredible eye for globally commercial content, and we are delighted to have him lead STX’s international film division, which he and David have grown into a full-service international distribution company,” said McGrath.
“The international business has become increasingly critical in the film landscape ever since I was chairman of UIP while at Paramount. Today, the international environment is even more complex with the rise of different streaming services and various OTT platforms, and in John, we have a seasoned executive who is extremely well suited to navigate these opportunities for STX.”
“The international business has never enjoyed a more dynamic period with the dramatic growth of the Chinese and Asian markets, the tremendous expansion of the Gulf Region and the opening of Saudi Arabia,” added STX Chairman and CEO Robert Simonds. “John is an incredibly adept executive and we will rely on his demonstrated international expertise to build on our promise to develop, market and distribute star-driven content on a global scale.”
“I am tremendously excited to continue my long-standing relationship with Bob Simonds, Adam Fogelson, Tom McGrath and the STX team in my new role leading the international division of STXfilms,” said Friedberg. “I’m also excited to expand my mandate in leading the UK distribution business here in London, where we have an incredible team of executives, and a slate of exciting, commercial films. I have immense respect for David Kosse and wish him the best in his next endeavor.”
Friedberg was among STX’s first hires in 2015 and the company points out that he was personally responsible for building the company’s extensive network of international distribution partners in more than 150 territories worldwide. During his tenure at STX, he led the international acquisition and distribution of titles including All The Money In The World, Den Of Thieves, Peppermint, as well as upcoming titles Greenland, Horizon Line, The Marsh King’s Daughter and The Friend, among others.
Prior to joining STX, he spent a decade leading sales and distribution for QED International, where he worked on movies including Fury, Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 and the Robert De Niro-Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa.
STX is promising additional announcements about “expansion plans” in coming weeks.