Exec VP-general manager to oversee operations

Sony Pictures Imageworks has taken another step in its management makeover with the hiring of Randy Lake as executive VP and general manager.

Lake will manage overall operations, strategy and planning.

Move is part of a shakeup over the past year that included the hiring of Bob Osher as prexy of Sony Pictures Digital, the division that includes Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation; Hannah Minghella as production prexy at SPA; and the departure of longtime Imageworks topper Tim Sarnoff.

Lake, a former Booz Allen consultant who joined Imageworks in 2006, becomes part of a management troika, with senior vfx supervisor Ken Ralston overseeing the creative side and executive VP Debbie Denise taking charge of production management and client relations.

Imageworks has suffered because of the relative underperformance of Sony Pictures Animation, which also falls under the Sony Pictures Digital banner.

There has been speculation that Imageworks might be forced to shrink or drop its vfx business because its high costs and low margins aren’t being balanced by the expected animated hits.

Lake said Imageworks will remain in the vfx business, calling a shift to being exclusively animation “the wrong strategy” and said it would continue to serve third-party clients as well as Sony features.

“In the past there hasn’t always been a clear sense in this building that Sony Pictures’ interests were aligned with Imageworks,” he said, “but I think that’s changed now.”

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