Tom Rothman chosen as chairman of Sony Pictures’ motion picture group

Tom Rothman, former chairman of Tristar Pictures, will replace Amy Pascal as head of Sony Pictures.
(Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Sony Pictures Entertainment has named Tom Rothman as the next chairman of its motion picture group, the company said Tuesday.

He will replace current chair Amy Pascal, who announced earlier this month that she would step down and become a producer for Sony Pictures in May.

Pascal’s announcement came after the crippling cyberattack against the studio exposed embarrassing email conversations.


Rothman joined Sony in 2013 to lead its TriStar unit. Previously he ran Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 through 2012 with Jim Gianopulos.

He will report to Michael Lynton, who will remain as chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures.

“Tom’s creativity, strong talent relationships and track record of enduring films and commercial success are unparalleled in this industry and exactly what we are looking for to grow our film business,” Lynton said in a statement.

In a new structure for Sony, Rothman’s role will be specific to the movie part of the business. Pascal was also co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a title Rothman will not take on. Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, will continue to report directly to Lynton.

The company also announced that Lynton’s contract with Sony had been extended, both for his role at Sony Pictures Entertainment and as CEO of Sony Entertainment, which includes Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing as well as the film and television studio.

The appointment of Rothman, who has a different sensibility from Pascal, could signal a shift in the studio’s creative trajectory.

Rothman is known for keeping his eye on the bottom line and is considered less filmmaker-oriented than Pascal, though he was responsible for huge hits at Fox including James Cameron’s “Avatar” and “Titanic.”

Rothman was ousted from Fox in 2012 after 18 years at the studio. Rothman also founded and was one of the first presidents of Fox Searchlight, the specialty division that released such Oscar-winning movies as “The Descendants” and “Black Swan.”

Rothman will continue to oversee TriStar Productions and its upcoming film slate, which includes “Ricky and the Flash,” “Billy Lynn” and “Money Monster.”

“I am thrilled at this rare opportunity to lead the motion picture group at such an exciting and transformative time for the studio,” Rothman said in a statement.

Rothman was one of several key Sony insiders who were said to be up for the top job.

One of those was Doug Belgrad, president of the studio’s motion picture group and Columbia Pictures. He’s been with the company since 1989. Another was Michael De Luca, president of production at Columbia, which is part of Sony Pictures.

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