EXCLUSIVE: New movie studio STX is quickly ramping up its operations. Rich Sullivan, who has long served in finance under Jeffrey Katzenberg at DreamWorks Animation, is expected to join STX as chief financial officer, Deadline has learned. Sullivan, who had been with DreamWorks since 2005, is said to be in advanced talks with the new company led by Robert Simonds. This comes a day after DreamWorks Animation named former DirectTV exec Fazal Merchant to its CFO post.
Sullivan is the second major player to head to the mini-studio founded by Simonds, TPG Growth, Gigi Pritzker and Chinese concern Hony Capital in March. The mandate for the venture is to launch “a next generation film studio” to finance, produce and self-distribute eight to 10 star-driven films every year.
The executive team Simonds is assembling is impressive. Oren Aviv, the former marketing president of 20th Century Fox and before that Disney, is also expected to join STX Entertainment. He has been working with his former employer, Fox, to take a position at STX that would straddle both marketing and production. Aviv and Sullivan would join former Paramount COO Thomas McGrath who is now the COO of STX.
During his time at DreamWorks Animation, Sullivan was involved with all aspects of the company’s financial operations, including corporate finance, treasury, investor relations, corporate development and strategic planning. So figure that Sullivan will be one of the key players at STX.
Sullivan most recently served as the deputy CFO at DWA, but also held the posts of head of corporate finance and before that head of investor relations. Prior to his stint there, he was VP Investor Relations at AT&T for three years where he served as a member of AT&T’s Financial Leadership Team. Before that, he worked in mergers and acquisitions investment banking (with a focus on telecommunications) for Deutsche Bank Securities.