John Ferraro, senior VP worldwide acquisitions and co-productions at Paramount Pictures, is exiting the studio when his current three-year contract expires at the end of June.
Ferraro has spent his 20-year career at Paramount, first in television and, for the last 12 years, in the film acquisitions arena. He is expected to take time off before pursuing other business opportunities in the Internet as well as in traditional media.
The studio is expected to hire a replacement for Ferraro, though that person has yet to be named.
During his tenure at the motion picture group, Ferraro was key in acquiring the soon-to-be-released British teen comedy “Kevin & Perry,” Spike Lee’s MTV comedy documentary “The Original Kings of Comedy,” the Rick Famuyiwa-helmed “The Wood,” which is being developed as a network pilot for Fox TV, and the indie hit “Kiss Me Guido,” which was developed into a CBS pilot that recently received a six-episode order as a midseason replacement series.
Ferraro also helped bring Paramount the Kurt Russell starrer “Breakdown,” directed by Jonathan Mostow; David Ward’s “Major League”‘ Morgan Freeman’s directorial debut, “Bopha!”; and Ernest Dickerson’s “Juice.”
“It’s been an extraordinary 20 years within the Paramount family,” Ferraro said. “Having had the opportunity to experience and accomplish so much within the motion picture and television groups, I feel now is the perfect time to look at new creative and business challenges.”
Ferraro joined the studio in 1980 in the international TV distribution department. He later became a development executive for Paramount Television Group, where he oversaw development of the pilot for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the ABC series “MacGyver” and the CBS telepic “A Very Brady Christmas.”
In 1987, he was named executive director of acquisitions at Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group. Following promotions to VP and senior veep, Ferraro signed a new three-year contract in 1997 as senior VP worldwide acquisitions and co-productions.