(Beverly Hills, Calif.) January 11, 2012– Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh announced today Relativity has strengthened its senior management team to fortify its ranks and the company’s business operations. Gregory Shamo, current Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs & General Counsel and Happy Walters, current President, Relativity Music Group & Rogue Sports have been promoted to Co-Chief Operating Officers and Michael Rosner, formerly Senior Counsel at Loeb & Loeb LLP, has joined Relativity as General Counsel.
In making the announcement, Kavanaugh commented, “We are continuing to reinforce our executive management team as we establish a foothold as a distributor. We are pleased to promote Greg and Happy, and are honored Michael has come aboard. Greg has worked with Relativity both internally and externally and has established some of the company’s biggest deals to date, while Happy’s leadership of the music and sports divisions has been invaluable to the company’s growth. Michael’s expertise and analytical skills make him an asset to this organization. We greatly look forward to all of their contributions and to Relativity’s exciting future ahead.”
In their new capacity, Shamo and Walters will help to guide the company’s strategic direction as well as oversee such areas as legal, corporate affairs, business and legal affairs, human resources, technology and operations departments of Relativity, reporting to Kavanaugh.
Since joining the company in 2009, Shamo has shepherded some of Relativity’s most significant deals including the agreement with John Malone’s Liberty Media/Starz that involved the absorption of Overture Films’ marketing and distribution assets. Shamo also brokered the Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment deal to act as Relativity’s home entertainment distributor.
Prior to coming aboard at Relativity, Shamo previously represented the company for two years as outside legal counsel at Loeb & Loeb LLP. While at Loeb, Shamo maintained a legal practice principally focused in the areas of entertainment finance and corporate representation. In addition to representing Relativity in connection with its major studio film slate co-financing funds Beverly Blvd 1 and Beverly Blvd 2 and its acquisition of Rogue Pictures from Universal Studios, Shamo handled a broad range of entertainment related corporate and finance matters including acquisitions, single picture debt and equity financings, corporate structuring and joint ventures. Previously, Shamo worked at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP and before that, maintained a bankruptcy practice at Danning, Gill, Diamond & Kollitz LLP and had a litigation practice at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.
Walters came to Relativity in 2009 as President, Relativity Music Group and Rogue Sports, Relativity’s sports management platform, where he launched both divisions—a music supervision company that also provides music publishing catalogues and soundtrack services for films produced and/or financed by Relativity and other studios including Immortals, Bridesmaids and Limitless, as well as the sports management company dedicated to providing high profile NBA athletes a full-range of professional development services including Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks), DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs), Corey Brewer (Denver Nuggets).
Walters joined the company with a wealth of experience in the music industry. In the early 1990’s, he established the music management company Buzztone Music. After a few short years, Walters expanded his music business by creating one of the most successful independent rock labels of the 1990’s, Immortal Records. In conjunction with Sony’s Epic Records, Walters and Immortal worked with such artists as Cypress Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, Fleetwood Mac, Rage Against the Machine, Method Man, Velvet Revolver, Incubus and Korn.
In Rosner’s new position as General Counsel, he will supervise all legal matters at the company, reporting to Shamo and Walters.
While at Loeb, Rosner focused primarily on motion picture slate financings, ultimates loan transactions and studio co-financings, with a secondary focus on general corporate matters. Additionally, he has represented various financial institutions ranging from international banks to middle-market commercial finance companies, leasing companies and factors in transactions involving a host of industries including entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, defense, transportation and apparel. Prior to joining Loeb, Rosner spent five years as vice president and corporate counsel at FINOVA Capital Corporation. Before that, he spent nearly six years in the financial services department at Blank Rome LLP.
In the spring of 2012, the company will be moving under one roof in Beverly Hills, uniting its business operations. The studio will relocate offices in Santa Monica and West Hollywood including the film marketing, distribution, and production departments along with Relativity Music Group, Rogue Sports and RogueLife (Relativity’s digital studio). RelativityREAL will remain in Hollywood.
The next film on the studio’s growing slate is Oscar®-winner Steven Soderbergh’s dynamic Haywire debuting in theatres January 20, 2012. This highly anticipated action-thriller stars Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton and introduces mixed martial arts (MMA) star Gina Carano in a demanding lead role that has her performing her own high-adrenaline stunts. Haywire tells the story of Mallory Kane, a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive. Using her black-ops military training, she devises an ingenious – and dangerous – trap. But when things go haywire, Mallory realizes she’ll be killed in the blink of an eye unless she finds a way to turn the tables on her ruthless adversary. The release marks Soderbergh’s 25th film.
Relativity’s expansive upcoming slate also includes the heart-pounding Navy SEAL action-thriller Act of Valor (in theatres February 24, 2012) and magical adventure comedy Mirror Mirror (in theatres March 16, 2012), starring Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Nathan Lane, and Armie Hammer. The studio just wrapped production on the comedy 21 and Over and is currently in pre-production on Nicholas Sparks’ gripping love story Safe Haven and the international espionage thriller Hunter Killer.