In the nearly three weeks since Amy Pascal “stepped down from”—a probable euphemism for “was asked to leave in the wake of the Sony cyber attack”—her position as co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, it’s remained an open question who SPE co-chair Michael Lynton would select to take her place. Today we have our answer: Tom Rothman, whose name you may remember from the 2013 resuscitation of TriStar pictures. Rothman has been working under the Sony banner as the head of TriStar Productions since then; before that, he served as chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment for 12 years.
Rothman’s tenure at Fox was both lucrative and prestigious: During his time there, the studio’s films were nominated for more than 150 Oscars, and his personal track record includes shepherding two of the highest-grossing films of all time, Titanic and Avatar. After a shaky 2014 that included more high-profile misses (The Interview, Robocop, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and that whole massive cyber-attack thing) than hits (22 Jump Street and… The Equalizer? Sorta?), those credits probably look pretty good to Sony right about now. Then again, as Variety notes, “Rothman’s appointment could ruffle some feathers at Sony’s Culver City lot. At Fox, Rothman was known for keeping costs in check and for his hands-on management style with major productions. However, he also has a prickly personality and a temper that sometimes put him at odds with Fox’s corporate leadership.”
As head of the Motion Picture Group, Rothman will report directly to Lynton, whose contract with Sony was extended as both Chairman and CEO of SPE and CEO of Sony Entertainment, which also oversees the company's music and television holdings. Rothman will also continue to oversee TriStar Productions for the immediate future; the company currently has the Meryl Streep-starring Ricki And The Flash and Robert Zemeckis’ Philippe Petit biopic The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and produced by Rothman, on the docket for 2015.