CULVER CITY, Calif., October 19, 2011 – Mark Zucker is retiring from his role as president, Sony Pictures Releasing International, and Steven O’Dell has been promoted to fill that role, it was announced today by Rory Bruer, president, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Zucker’s retirement comes after 36 years in the industry and 27 with Sony Pictures. He has worked closely with Bruer and Jeff Blake, chairman, Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, to build an international distribution team that is among the very best in the business. Among the many, many hits in his career, Zucker orchestrated the international releases of the Spider-Man franchise, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, as well as the two most recent James Bond films, which were the highest-grossing films in franchise history. In recent years, Zucker has overseen the distribution of such international smash hits as The Smurfs® (which spent eight weeks atop the international box office charts), 2012, Hancock, and such upcoming releases as The Adventures of TinTin. Under Zucker’s leadership, Sony Pictures has surpassed $1 billion at the international box office in 11 of the past 12 years, including 2011. Since Zucker took over the reins of international distribution in 2001, SPRI has delivered 36 $100 million-plus releases and over $14 billion in box office.
O’Dell joined Sony Pictures in 2005 as a vice president and was promoted to senior vice president in 2009; in his most recent role, he oversaw Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal, and Scandinavia. Prior to joining Sony, O’Dell started working in 1994 with United International Pictures (UIP) in Central America and the Caribbean. He held management posts for UIP in Chile, Austria, Brazil and Mexico. He returned to the US in 2001 to join consultancy Nadia Bronson & Associates.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruer said, “Mark is one of the most highly regarded, well-respected, and well-liked executives in our company and industry. We are sorry to see him go, but we are happy for him – he’s worked hard for this moment. We all dream of retiring when we’re on top, but Mark has been on top for many years – we are thrilled to see him enjoy this next chapter. We also are thrilled to have Steven as our new International President. Steven is innovative, collaborative, and a strong leader. His promotion is well-earned and he is ready to step into this important role.”
Zucker was promoted to president, SPRI in 2008 and was named president, Distribution for SPRI in 2006. He has been responsible for managing and overseeing the international distribution of films for all the Sony labels including Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics. In 2003 and 2008, Zucker was honored by his peers as International Distributor of the Year.
A veteran of three decades in the motion picture industry, Zucker was previously senior executive vice president of Sony Pictures Releasing International from 2001-2006 and prior to that executive vice president, Worldwide Distribution for Columbia Pictures for a year. From 1996-1999, he was executive vice president, Domestic Distribution for Sony Pictures Releasing. From 1994-1996, he served as senior vice president, Operations & Administration. From 1990-1994, he served as vice president and, subsequently, senior vice president, Operations & Administration for Columbia Pictures Domestic Distribution. Zucker began with his association with the company in 1984 as vice president of Marketing & Distribution Administration for TriStar Pictures, a position he held until 1990 when he was named vice president, Operations & Administration for Columbia Pictures Distribution, and in 1992, he was elevated to senior vice president, Operations & Administration.
Before joining Columbia TriStar, Zucker was director, Marketing Finance at MGM/UA from 1980-1984. He came to MGM/UA from Paramount Pictures, where he had been director, Marketing Administration from 1975-1980.
In the years before becoming a part of the entertainment industry, Zucker held financial positions for organized labor and the advertising industry.
He is a graduate of Baruch College of The City University of New York from which he received his B.B.A. degree in Statistics.