De Luca, whose namesake production company has had a production and development deal with Columbia since 2004, will share the role with Hannah Minghella, the company's current head of production.
Among De Luca's recent credits are
He will assume the post after he completes production of the movie adaptation of "Fifty Shades of Grey," which he is co-producing for Universal Pictures and Focus Features. That project, based on the bestselling book of the same name, is currently in production and slated to be released Feb. 13, 2015. It is scheduled to wrap production in late February.
De Luca will also continue to work on "Dracula Untold," which he is producing for Universal; that project has wrapped production and will be released by the studio Oct. 17.
Columbia Pictures has had a tough year, releasing a handful of box-office duds, including
In May, Loeb began a campaign of public pleas for the company to adopt his proposal to make an initial public stock offering of up to 20% of its entertainment division. Loeb's company, Third Point, owns about 7% of Sony. The company rejected his proposal in August.
De Luca will report to Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia.
“Mike has worked with us on several of our highest-quality and most commercial recent films, and he’s nurtured many of our generation’s most important filmmakers," Belgrad said in a statement. "Likewise, Hannah is a tremendous creative executive who has made major contributions to our entire slate, in particular our key
De Luca's most recent picture, the
"I'm honored to be formalizing my relationship with the studio and look forward to working with the team to reach new heights," he said in a statement.
Once known as much for his hard-charging ways and embrace of life in the fast lane as for his movies, De Luca has also held senior production positions at DreamWorks and New Line Cinema. At DreamWorks, he oversaw the development of the
Sony also announced Friday that Belgrad's role would expand to encompass duties across the the studio's motion picture group, which also includes the Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures companies.