Stephen Basil-Jones will sign on today as senior veepee at Columbia TriStar Film Distributors Intl.
Based in Culver City, Basil-Jones will work with senior exec VP Mark Zucker across a broad area of the distrib’s international efforts, including supervising a number of foreign territories.
Within the studio ranks, Basil-Jones is highly regarded for his work as managing director of the distrib’s Australia and New Zealand operations, based in Sydney, since the banner was formed five years ago after ending its co-venture with Fox.
He made no secret of his aspirations to advance at the company, and it’s believed the Sony brass had been discussing a relocation for some weeks, but the deal only coalesced late last week. He was due to fly to L.A. over the weekend.
Zucker has shouldered a heavy load since the studio decided to cut costs last year by dismantling the structure of regional supervisors out in the field for Europe and Asia. In particular, the Euro offices reported direct to Zucker instead of the previous regional HQ in London.
He’ll continue to oversee the distrib’s Australasian operations from afar until the end of the year, when a succession plan is put in place.
In Hollywood he joins two expat Aussies who are prominent at other studios — Fox Intl. president Scott Neeson and MGM international marketing and distribution senior VP Ian Sutherland.