Her departure emerged at the Mip TV market in Cannes, which finishes today. I understand Thorp, who has been with the company for two years, was not in attendance. After two successful years, she has left to explore new opportunities and is understood to be in talks with a number of new and traditional players.
At Lionsgate, Thorp was thought to have overseen deals such as UKTV’s high-profile acquisition of Starz’ The White Princess as well as the European free-to-air roll out for Orange Is The New Black and a number of film deals with the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Channel 4.
She joined Lionsgate as Senior Vice President and Head of Sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), in April 2016, from rival North American mini-major Entertainment One (eOne), where she had worked for six years leading their European film and TV sales. Prior to eOne, she held roles at Hanway Films and MTV Networks International.
Lionsgate, which produces and distributes series including Nashville and Orange Is The New Black, was in Cannes largely promoting its raft of Starz content including six-part doc series Wrong Man, from Joe Berlinger, half-hour drama Vida, which focuses on two Mexican-American sisters, and Sweetbitter, which tells the the story of Tess, played Ella Purnell, a 22-year-old who arrives in New York City ready to pursue a new life.
Elsewhere on Liongate’s slate was hot British format Carnage, from Lionsgate-backed British indie Primal Media. The entertainment show, which is for Sky One, sees cars turned into massive battle machines.
It is one of a number of exec changes at the company in the last twelve months since its acquisition of Starz; veteran salesman Gene George was appointed EVP Worldwide Distribution last year to work alongside Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer and President of International TV & Digital Distribution Peter Iacono.
In February, executives cautioned that growth would slow to “mid to high single digits” because of increased investment in content — especially in original programming at Starz.