IM Global Execs Greg Shapiro, Cristina Garza Exit Global Road Entertainment

Global Road Entertainment
Global Road

EXCLUSIVE: As Global Road Entertainment, the company formed by Tang Media Partners’ combination of Open Road Films, IM Global and IM Global Television, moves towards a new structure, two key IM Global executives are departing. President of Feature Film Production Greg Shapiro and General Manager of Latin American label Mundial, Cristina Garza, are exiting the company, Deadline understands.

Oscar-winner Shapiro will continue to be a producer on three titles already underway: the Steven Knight-directed Serenity with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway; Johnny Depp-starrer Richard Says Goodbye; and The Rhythm Section with Blake Lively and Jude Law. The latter recently was forced to suspend production while Lively recovers from a hand injury.

Shapiro has a previous relationship with Global Road chairman and CEO Rob Friedman stemming from The Hurt Locker and Child 44. It would not be surprising to see him work with Global Road on future projects. It is expected that a new hire will come in to fill Shapiro’s vacated post as the company continues to revamp.

Friedman took over the reins at what was then Tang Media Partners Entertainment in August, after Donald Tang’s company took hold of Open Road from AMC and Regal. Tang had previously acquired leading sales/finance outfit IM Global in summer 2016.

In November, Lynn Harris was named President of Worldwide Production at Global Road Entertainment. Her hiring was a step towards putting Global Road in a position to generate more of its own films to complement the sales and acquisition operations already in place.

While the company has recently been somewhat active in the TV space and acquired thriller The Silence for U.S. distribution in December, it is not currently known if Global Road will bring any new product to market for Berlin in two weeks’ time. At the AFM, deals were being wrapped on the previous teams’ lineup and the company could conceivably sit out Berlin in terms of fresh projects, waiting to strike at Cannes.

Garza is exiting Mundial, which was formed as an IM Global subsidiary to handle worldwide distribution of Latin American features and libraries. It looks likely that as Global Road evolves, it will move away from niche foreign-language fare. Still, former Studiocanal exec Rodolphe Buet was named President of International in October and given his background, an international focus should be expected to be maintained. When he was hired in October, Buet told me an overall objective is to meld the structures in order to accelerate development and start from a solid base.

Recently having left the company is another former IM Global exec, CFO Miguel Palos. VP of Operations and Finance Will Chiang and UK Director of International Sales and Acquisitions, Callum Grant, are also thought to be exiting.

That’s a lot of IM Global execs to shed in a short period. My understanding is that new hires are being lined up as the teams from the former Open Road and IM Global merge into one outfit under the stewardship of Friedman and Buet.

Along with Harris, other recent hires include Jack Pan as President of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing. That followed the departure of Open Road marketing boss Loren Schwartz as well as CEO Tom Ortenberg who left in November. IM Global’s founder Stuart Ford left in August last year.

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