Sony Pictures Entertainment has changed up its business affairs ranks and streamlined operations under one reporting structure overseen by the newly promoted Andrew Gumpert, who becomes President, Worldwide Business Affairs and Operations for the Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group. He moves over from Columbia Pictures and will continue to report to Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman.
By putting Gumpert in this spot, the studio basically consolidates all dealmaking responsibilities under him. In addition, it has shaken up its business affairs reporting structure and executives ranks with promotions, new hires and one person retiring.
As part of Gumpert’s promotion, the senior business affairs executive for each motion picture group production division will now report to Gumpert, with each division having a dedicated Business Affairs team.
Stepping up behind Gumpert to take his former spot is Michael Marshall, who was promoted to head of business affairs at Columbia; he gets the title of EVP Business Affairs and Administration.
Brian Burkin was upped at TriStar to EVP and Head of Business Affairs.
Ronni Coulter, who has overseen Business Affairs for Sony Pictures Animation for more than nine years, will be retiring. That makes room for Jeffrey Korchek, who most recently served at Mattel as VP Licensing Acquisitions, Business Affairs and Content. He has been hired as EVP Business Affairs and Strategy for the animation group and will now supervise Kym Wulfe, who was promoted to SVP Business Affairs.
At Screen Gems, VP Business Affairs Carol Smithson will head business affairs and continue to work with EVP and General Manager Pam Kunath.
Gumpert will now also be directly involved in strategic planning, including overseeing the studio’s relationships with its outside financing partners including Lonestar Capital and Village Roadshow. He will work with CFO Stefan Litt in that capacity. (Like father, like son: Gumpert’s father Jon headed up business affairs for Universal when the company was under the Seagram umbrella).
In addition, a new hire comes into international with Laine Kline, who has joined the studio as EVP Business Affairs for international productions. Kline joins the studio from 20th Century Fox, where he was head of business affairs at Fox International Productions.
Sony noted also that Gumpert will work closely with Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad to set and implement the studio’s day-to-day business operations and business affairs strategies. He also will oversee biz affairs and operations at the studio’s theatrical group Columbia Live Stage. The group, creatively overseen by Lia Vollack, is currently developing a number of film-to-stage projects a la Disney. Included is a musical based on Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day with Tim Minchin/Matthew Warchus, Scott Rudin, and Danny Rubin, the writer of the original feature film, who is writing the book for the show.
Columbia Pictures’ Marshall will work with SVPs Lumumba Mosquera and Mark Wyman.