EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate Co-COO and Motion Picture Group Co-President Steve Beeks, who has been at the company for two decades and has been a key strategist in its growth, is exiting at year’s end. However, he will remain as a consultant. With Beeks leaving, there will be one COO with Brian Goldsmith and one Motion Picture Group President with Erik Feig. The co-posts are not expected to be replaced.
Goldsmith will, as he did with Beeks, continue to report to CEO Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns, while Feig will continue to report to Joe Drake and Patrick Wachsberger, who are co-chairs of the Motion Picture Group.
Drake stepped in as Lionsgate’s co-chair since he rejoined the company in October. Drake was Lionsgate Co-COO and Motion Picture Group President for five years during a run that included The Hunger Games, The Expendables films, Kick Ass, 3:10 to Yuma, Precious, the Saw franchise and Tyler Perry films.
Beeks’ exit is significant in that he had been spearheading business and strategic initiatives for the company’s motion picture group since 2012, when he was named as co-president of the division and helped in oversight of Lionsgate’s film production and acquisition strategic plan. He is a familiar name with Wall Street investors and the financial community.
Beeks helped orchestrate the recent renewals of theatrical distribution agreements with longtime content partners StudioCanal and CBS Films, and he has overseen the continued growth of Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films (How to be a Latin Lover, Instructions Not Included) and Codeblack Films (All Eyez On Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain), labels for underserved Hispanic and African-American audiences. He has also managed Lionsgate’s acquisition and distribution relationship with sister company Roadside Attractions (Amazon’s Manchester by the Sea).
He has been there helping map the direction for Lionsgate during many of its growth years. His exit comes also as the company just enjoyed another breakout hit in Wonder from Walden Media which just cracked the $100M domestic box office milestone this weekend.
Just over five years, Lionsgate’s film slate has grossed almost $10 billion at the global box office, led largely by The Hunger Games franchise and other franchises like John Wick and Saw such critical favorites like La La Land, which not only won six Oscars but grossed $151.1M in the states for the company.
“We deeply appreciate Steve’s many contributions to our growth into a major global content platform,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer in a statement. “He has been a key member of the leadership team guiding our Company, and we look forward to his continued expert guidance in the future. He remains a highly valued member of our Lionsgate family, and we are already working on new projects to do together.”
“During my years at Lionsgate, I have been fortunate to have a visionary and supportive senior management team, incredibly talented colleagues, and a staff second to none,” said Beeks. “Lionsgate is one of the most exciting companies in the industry, and I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m especially proud of being a part of the very successful string of films we’ve released in the past year. Having worked for so long in such a dynamic environment has inspired me to move forward with entrepreneurial opportunities of my own.”
Before joining Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, Beeks was one of the architects of the Lionsgate’s $1 billion plus-a-year-revenue home entertainment operation, an industry leader in market share, and he helped grow the 16,000-title film and television library.