Hollywood has a new mogul in Tony Vinciquerra, with the official appointment of the former Fox executive as CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment marking what The New York Times calls a shift toward TV for the studio.
“Sony Pictures Entertainment, bedeviled in recent years by movie misfires, a devastating cyberattack and executive ejections, on Thursday named Tony Vinciquerra its chairman and chief executive,” the paper reports. “Mr. Vinciquerra, 62, who has a long TV track record but little moviemaking expertise, succeeds Michael Lynton, who is stepping down to focus on his board role at Snap, the parent company of Snapchat.”
The Times adds: “Kazuo Hirai, the president and chief executive of Sony Corporation, based in Tokyo, made the decision to hire Mr. Vinciquerra after pondering people like Peter Rice, the chairman of Fox Networks Group, and Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International. While the Japanese have at times been seen as absentee landlords at Sony Pictures, Mr. Hirai has in recent months worked from the Sony lot, home to the Spider-Man movies, sitcoms like ‘Kevin Can Wait’ and game-show chestnuts like ‘Jeopardy.’”
Hirai and Vinciquerra turned down requests for interviews, with Hirai saying in a statement: “Tony is a proven, results-oriented leader,” and adding that he has “expertise in managing digital disruption.”
The Times notes that the appointment of Vinciquerra sends the message that Sony’s future “is about television. The studio’s film division has struggled badly, recently prompting a $1 billion write-down, but television production — all but abandoned by Sony 16 years ago — has emerged as an engine. With hits like ‘The Crown,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘The Goldbergs’ in its stable, Sony Pictures Television contributed more than 90 percent of the entertainment company’s overall income last year. Sony also operates a vast array of fast-growing overseas cable networks.”