Sony shake-up persists as two television presidents quit

"Rainbow," the public art at the Sony Pictures Entertainment studios in Culver City in 2013.
“Rainbow,” the public art at the Sony Pictures Entertainment studios in Culver City in 2013.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s management shake-up continued with the resignations of two well-respected television executives from the Culver City studio behind such hits as “Better Call Saul” and “Shark Tank.”

Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who both served as president of television programming and production, will exit the studio this summer, Sony Pictures Entertainment Chief Executive Tony Vinciquerra said Thursday in a memo to staff members.

“Zack and Jamie have been instrumental in the growth of Sony Pictures Television over the last several years – particularly over the last year as they took on a greater leadership role,” Vinciquerra wrote. “While we are sad to see them go, we are excited by the opportunity to work with them as partners in the future.”

Studio insiders for months have wondered whether the pair would stay on because Sony’s leaders had not engaged in contract negotiations to keep them, and their employment deals were set to expire by September. Typically, executives renegotiate their contracts about year before they expire.

But Sony Pictures has been consumed by management turmoil for more than a year. Vinciquerra stepped into the top job June 1 after a lengthy search to find a replacement for Michael Lynton, the longtime studio chief, who announced in January that he was leaving.


Sony’s longtime television boss, Steve Mosko, left a year ago, and since that time Erlicht and Van Amburg have been running the studio’s programming division, which is responsible for such shows as “The Crown” for Netflix, “The Goldbergs” for ABC, “Outlander” for Starz and “Kevin Can Wait” for CBS.

One person familiar with the moves who was unauthorized to speak publicly said negotiations with Erlicht and Van Amburg were put on hold after it became clear that Lynton was leaving. This month, Sony offered the two executives a short-term contract extension, which they turned down, this person said.

There is no immediate replacement for the executives, who have worked at the studio for more than 15 years.

“Until a replacement is named … I will be working closely with our existing leadership team to ensure a seamless transition,” Vinciquerra wrote.