Senior exec shifts to producing

With only one movie under its belt, Sony Pictures Animation has lost one of its two senior execs.

Penney Finkelman Cox, who launched SPA with her longtime business partner Sandra Rabins, is ankling her post as exec VP to become a producer for the division.

Move leaves Rabins, who holds the same title, as the sole operational exec running SPA day-to-day. It also strengthens the power of Sony Pictures Digital prexy Yair Landau, the top creative exec overseeing the animation division.

Cox will remain as a producer on several projects she helped get into development at the unit, including “Disenchanted Forest” and “Big Nasty,” though it remains to be seen whether any of them will move into production.

“We value the enormous contributions Penney made to launch this new division and look forward to her creative voice in the area where she has distinguished herself,” Landau said in a statement.

SPA’s first movie, “Open Season,” was released in September and garnered so-so global B.O. of $187 million. Its second pic, “Surf’s Up,” debuts in June. Also in production are “Hotel Transylvania” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.”

Before joining Sony in 2002, Cox and Rabins helped launch DreamWorks’ animation unit in the ’90s, working on projects such as “The Prince of Egypt,” “Antz” and “Shrek.”

“We have enjoyed both a personal and professional relationship for over 14 years that will not change,” they said in a joint statement.

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