Producer of Birdman Tom Rothman Promoted to Chairman of Sony’s Motion Picture Group

Sony Pictures Entertainment is making changes in their corporate offices in the wake of the hacking scandal that leaked embarrassing emails following “The Interview” release. According to the New York Times, Amy Pascal has stepped down and former 20th Century Fox chief Tom Rothman is taking over as chairman of Sony’s Motion Picture Group. Pascal will remain with Sony and is planning to start a new production company overseeing the studio’s “Spider-Man” series as well as other projects.

Tom Rothman has spent over 10 years running Fox Filmed Entertainment handling such box office smashes as “Avatar” and “Titanic”. Rothman is also the founder of the art-house production company Fox Searchlight which has produced the last two Best Picture winners, “Birdman” and “12 Years a Slave”. Beyond those accomplishments Tom has garnered Fox some 150 Academy Award nominations as well as over 40 billion dollars in worldwide box office.

Michael Lynton, who is remaining chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, has great faith in Tom and released a statement supporting Mr. Rothman. “Having run Fox Filmed Entertainment during a time of great successes and growth for that studio, and then producing at TriStar here at SPE (Sony Pictures Entertainment), Tom knows this business inside and out like few others do.”

Rothman thanked both Michael and Amy for supporting him since he began at TriStar and is optimistic about his future with the company. “I have had the pleasure of working closely with the exceptionally talented teams at SPE for the past year, and I am excited to build on those relationships in this new role,” Tom said shortly after hearing of his advancement.

Could Tom Rothman Be Considered For A Top Sony Position?

In a report by The Hollywood Reporter, one top position at Sony Pictures Entertainment is going to be up for grabs in May. Amy Pascal, who has served in the studio’s top creative position for 15 years announced that she will be leaving in May, with her contract ending in March. The two obvious candidates for this position are Jeff Robinov and Tom Rothman. These two both have reputations in top positions and them leading the Sony studio appears to be promising, however, there are also many factors against them as well. Robinov is unlikely to take the position due to the business deals he has been involved with in China; an investment that should not be lost. Rothman would be good for the position, however there have been speculations against him because his email was hacked.

There are a few other candidates that may be able to fill the gap from inside the studio such as Doug Belgrad. He is currently the highest-ranking person in the production side of Sony studios. Unfortunately for him however he did not have such a good year in 2013 and was still under close watch by his bosses in 2014. Michael De Luca is another internal option that the Sony heads could consider. He had three critically acclaimed hits and was an executive at Dreamworks and New Line.

Outside of Sony there are very few options. These include Stacy Snider of Dreamworks and Universal, Adam Fogelson who ran Universal in 2013, Jeff Shell who replaced Fogelson, Donna Langley who is running STX studio, and within Warner Brothers Sue Kroll, Greg Silverman, and Tony Emmerich.