BREAKING: Tony Vinciquerra is officially replacing outgoing Chairman/CEO Michael Lynton at Sony Pictures Entertainment, it was just announced to studio employees. Vinciquerra, like Lynton before him, will report to Sony Corp. President and CEO Kazuo Hirai. The executive, who is seen as a calm and steady hand who also can cost manage the studio, became a leading candidate for the job in March (as Deadline exclusively reported). He starts June 1 and will oversee the motion picture group, the television group and SPE’s worldwide media networks.
Vinciquerra comes to the studio with significant experience in television (both broadcast and cable) and — since 2011 — has been a senior advisor to TPG Capital, L.P. in the technology, media and telecom fields. The hiring follows multiple meetings between the Japanese and the executive and the final agreement was sealed sometime yesterday, we were told.
One of the first things that Vinciquerra will have to deal with are contracts coming due in the TV division. Both Zach Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht who are running television, have contracts coming due this summer. SPT’s importance to the company has grown in the past few years as SPE’s main profit generator, about 70%, came from the television unit which came from nothing to its heights in the 16 years when it was led by Steve Mosko.
As we reported Monday, the hiring announcement was expected this week. Vinciquerra’s job is slightly different from the one Lynton previously encompassed as the new post will oversee film and TV but not the music division. Lynton’s job was also as EVP, officer in charge of music businesses of Sony Corp. That job had been created specifically for Lynton a few years ago. Hirai greatly respects Lynton so much so that he took the advice of the executive that had guided the company for 13 years.
Vinciquerra is now expected to step down from the various boards to avoid any conflict of interest, including TPG and STX Entertainment. Vinciquerra is the former chairman of Fox Networks Group (where he spent about a decade) and was an executive at both Hearst and CBS.
“Tony is a proven, results-oriented leader with extensive experience running and driving growth in large, complex media and entertainment businesses,” said Hirai in making the announcement this AM. “His operating skills, effectiveness working with creative teams and expertise in managing digital disruption and new technologies make him the perfect choice to lead SPE, and build on the studio’s turnaround efforts to date. I want to thank Michael for his years of service and dedication to the success of our entertainment businesses, and for his commitment to our CEO search and this transition.”
This is what went out to Sony employees this AM via email:
Today we are announcing that Anthony Vinciquerra will become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, starting on June 1. I have included the press release below.
As you can see in the release, Tony comes to Sony with deep experience in the media, entertainment and tech spaces, and is perfectly positioned to oversee our multifaceted SPE business. We are thrilled to have Tony to lead SPE and look forward to introducing him to SPE employees personally at an All Hands meeting on the studio lot on Monday, May 15.
I want to thank Michael for his years of service and dedication to the success of our entertainment businesses, and for his commitment to our CEO search and this transition.