Participant picks its prexy

Skoll's shingle chooses Strauss

NEW YORK — Participant Prods., founded by eBay entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, has tapped Ricochet Entertainment’s Ricky Strauss as prexy.

Strauss will oversee production, marketing and business development at the indie unit, which focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable features and docus. He’ll report directly to Skoll.

With Warner Bros., Participant has in its pipeline Stephen Gaghan’s “Syriana,” starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Peet. Also on its slate is an untitled project for “Whale Rider” director Niki Caro to helm; Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand and Sissy Spacek star.

Strauss, who founded Sony-based Ricochet, also will oversee Participant marketing campaigns aimed at raising social awareness surrounding the banner’s pics.

“Ricky brings a rare combination of talent and expertise in both production and marketing to Participant,” said Skoll. “He will enable us to more aggressively pursue our vision of producing and marketing entertaining, profitable films that make a difference.”

A 17-year veteran at Sony, Strauss has done stints at Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures.

Skoll founded Participant in early 2004. Banner also is producing IFC Films’ “American Gun.”

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