Long-time Fremantle executive Rob Clark, who has been virtually synonymous with the company’s success in the global formats business, is retiring after almost 20 years.
The director of Global Entertainment — an animated character well known to many in the international industry — will officially depart in February 2023. Fremantle has confirmed that there will be a replacement hired for the role in due course.
Fremantle CEO Jennifer Mullin said of Clark in a statement: “For the past 20 years, Rob has been one of the key architects of our vast and successful Global Entertainment business. When we talk about connecting creativity at Fremantle, Rob embodies that. I will personally miss working with him and know all of us wish him well in his retirement.”
Clark first joined the RTL Group-owned super-indie as senior VP of production in early 2004, overseeing the entertainment division. This period was the zenith for many of the formats that helped make Fremantle into a market leader in shiny-floor entertainment programming, and Clark’s mission was to roll out formats like “Pop Idol” around the world.
The exec was named president of Worldwide Entertainment in 2006, and as director of Global Entertainment Development in 2012. His portfolio included hit shows such as “The X Factor,” the Idol and Got Talent franchises and “The Apprentice.” His other credits include “Game of Talents,” “The Greatest Dancer” and “Hole in the Wall.”
Clark’s departure comes as Fremantle works to evolve its profile on the international stage. In recent years, while the global expansion and renewal of the Idol and Got Talent franchises continue to serve as the company’s bread and butter, the business has also moved heavily into scripted, premium documentaries and feature films.
At Mipcom, Variety conducted a rare interview with Mullin and Group COO and CEO for Continental Europe Andrea Scrosati in which the pair detailed the company’s expansion plans and strategy for hitting €3 billion in revenues by 2025.
Deadline was first to report Clark’s exit.