President of acquisitions, co-productions exits

Peter Block, prexy of acquisitions and co-productions for Lionsgate, is ankling his post.

Block, who played a pivotal role in establishing the “Saw” franchise and key pickups like “Crash” and “Open Water,” had been working without a contract for several months, but the tenuousness of his position had increased with the arrival of Joe Drake as co-chief operating officer and prexy of the Motion Picture Group.

Drake came aboard in September when Lionsgate bought Mandate Pictures, which he continues to run along with his other duties.

The two execs had their differences, but a person with knowledge of the situation said Block already was looking to segue when the Mandate acquisition came about.

Block’s run at Lionsgate encompassed some of the indie company’s most successful years. He joined Lionsgate in 2000 from a senior exec position at Trimark, leveraging his experience in homevideo and new media to help Lionsgate exploit its sizable film library and reach genre fans online.

A company insider said Block’s departure was not a prelude to a larger exec reshuffling.

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