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Paramount cops Cripps

Exec to oversee studio o'seas

United Intl. Pictures prexy and chief operating officer Andrew Cripps will take over as prexy of Paramount’s international theatrical distribution unit, sources confirmed Wednesday (Daily Variety, Jan. 11).

Exactly when he will assume the post remains unclear. While UIP — the joint distribution operation of Par and Universal Pictures — is scheduled to disband early next year, Cripps is reportedly under contract with UIP through the end of this year. But Par is clearly eager to get its new international distribution unit off the ground and staffed up in the wake of the DreamWorks acquisition.

Cripps, who will remain in London, has served in his current position since 1999. He first joined UIP in 1986 as executive assistant to the general sales manager in Japan, the country in which he was raised. His fluency in Japanese paid off and in 1988, he was promoted to the post of VP, sales, for Southeast Asia and Australia. He then relocated to London in 1990, when he was named senior VP of international sales before moving up the ranks to his current top post.

The confirmation of Cripps to the prexy post of Par’s international distribution arm follows Universal’s appointment of David Kosse to run that studio’s international org.

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