Sony Pictures Entertainment has named veteran media executive Tony Vinciquerra as its new chairman and chief executive, replacing Michael Lynton after months of speculation about who would lead the struggling studio.
Vinciquerra, 62, best known for his stint atop Fox Networks, will report to Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai when he takes the job June 1, the company said Thursday.
“Tony is a proven, results-oriented leader with extensive experience running and driving growth in large, complex media and entertainment businesses,” Hirai said in a statement. “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.”
Lynton, who led the studio through a crippling 2014 cyberattack, said in January that he would step down after 13 years as head of the Japanese-owned entertainment company to focus his efforts on Snapchat maker Snap Inc., where he is chairman of the board. Snap held its initial public offering in March.
Vinciquerra, known for his strong management and dealmaking chops, had long been considered a top candidate for the Sony Pictures CEO position, which includes overseeing international TV networks along with the film and television studio.
He led Fox Networks for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., building its cable networks and international distribution business, for about a decade until he stepped down in early 2011. Since then he has worked as a senior advisor to investment giant Texas Pacific Group, and served on the boards of entertainment and media companies such as STX Entertainment, Univision Communications and Pandora Media.
Vinciquerra was previously chief operating officer of Hearst Television.
A key mission for Vinciquerra will be the management of Sony’s robust and valuable television studio, which produces shows such as “The Blacklist" on NBC and “The Crown” on Netflix. Sony’s TV division has been run by a consortium of executives since the ouster of TV Chairman Steve Mosko last year. Key television executives’ contracts are expiring later this year.
Vinciquerra will also face the challenge of turning around Sony Pictures’ movie studio, which is run by Tom Rothman and has weathered a long period of struggles at the box office. Tokyo-based parent company Sony Corp. in January took a nearly $1-billion write-down on the movie business, highlighting the studio’s financial challenges.
“I am thrilled to be joining SPE at such an exciting and dynamic time for the studio, and for the industry as a whole,” said Vinciquerra. “Everything about how we produce, distribute and consume content is changing, and I see tremendous opportunities working with the enormously talented teams at SPE, Sony Corp. and the other Sony companies.”
Vinciquerra’s appointment is the latest major management change in Hollywood, coming just a few weeks after Viacom Inc. picked former Fox film boss Jim Gianopulos to run Paramount Pictures.
9:55 a.m.: This article has been updated with quotes from Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai and incoming Sony Pictures CEO Tony Vinciquerra.
This article was originally published at 9:25 a.m.