Paramount marketing chief Josh Greenstein and former Fox marketing guru Tony Sella are two of the leading contenders Sony brass are eyeing to come into their executive ranks following the exit of distribution and marketing executive Jeff Blake this week. Insiders caution that there are several others are in the mix too, including execs currently at the studio. Sony CEO Michael Lynton and chair of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group’s Amy Pascal said as much on Tuesday. Specifically, Lynton said, “Right now we are going to leave the existing structure under Jeff in place, and we will be looking both internally and externally to replace Jeff.” The studio already has shored up exec Doug Belgrad and gave him a new title (President of the Motion Picture Group) and expanded duties over marketing and distribution. Also this week, longtime Sony Pictures EVP Elizabeth Cantillon left her production post to become a producer with a three-year first-look deal at the studio. So the restructuring at Sony continues.
Meanwhile, marketing execs around town and executives at Paramount thought Greenstein was going to exit the studio last year, but then the studio kept him engaged for another year as it released such titles as Anchorman 2 and Noah. Now after interest from Sony, Paramount is said to have offered him another contract and he is negotiating with them now and may re-up. Former Fox marketing creative genius Sella helped that studio launch many franchises during his decades-long service. Both are extremely talented. Stay tuned as we expect this to play out over the next couple of weeks.
Sony’s corporate spokesman Charlie Sipkins declined comment.