When this executive speaks, Hollywood listens.
As executive vice president and chief communications officer for 21st Century Fox, Julie Gladders Henderson ’92 serves as the company’s chief spokesperson and leads all of its global communications initiatives. Her work varies, depending on the movies being made, the television shows on the air and the events in the news.
While her job description may sound typical for an entertainment industry executive, her route to Tinseltown was anything but conventional.
“I came at it through technology, which is kind of backwards,” she says. “My first job had nothing to do with Hollywood.”
Growing up in St. Louis, Henderson knew she wanted to attend college on the West Coast at a small school. While visiting the University of Redlands, she fell in love with the Johnston Center, “attracted to this idea you could create your own emphasis and chart your own path.” Henderson’s emphasis was women’s studies and social policy.
After graduation, she decided to give living in Los Angeles a shot.
Henderson applied to several assistant jobs and was hired by a firm that appreciated her background—they loved her Johnston education, the fact she didn’t have an MBA and that she could speak Swahili, having lived in Africa for a year. She started out in high tech marketing and Public Relations, and ran the digital practice for a public relations firm.
She later joined News Corp. when the company purchased MySpace, hired because of her expertise in litigation-related communications. In 2013, News Corp. established 21st Century Fox as a separate company, and appointed Henderson as chief communications officer.
While based in Los Angeles, Henderson works with a team spread across the nation. She finds building trust and having respect for colleagues an absolute must in a fast-paced corporate setting. “You can’t do it all,” Henderson says. “That’s very important to remember.”
She has learned a lot throughout her career, but credits her education at the University of Redlands with giving her a strong foundation.
“I learned how to think and develop different perspectives,” Henderson says. “Johnston taught me that there isn’t always a single right answer; there can be multiple answers. You have to have the ability to articulate and communicate in this position, and having that knowledge has served me really well.”
—Catherine Garcia ’06