Indie distributor First Look Studios has appointed veteran industry executive Bill Lee as acting CEO.
During the past 18 months, Lee has been a consultant to Blockbuster, culminating in the position of exec VP, chief merchandising officer. The chain alerted studios last week that it plans to file for bankruptcy in mid-September.
From 1998-2008, Lee was president and a board member of Mosaic Sales Solutions, which provides merchandising and promotional support to companies including Disney, Microsoft, Sony, Best Buy and Wal-Mart.
Under Lee’s direction, Mosaic became Best Buy’s first multiple studio partner.
“I believe First Look is an agile and innovative company, which will lead the way in establishing new business models to accommodate the changing demands and habits of consumers, retailers and content owners,” he said.
First Look has been owned by Avi Lerner’s Nu Image/Millennium Films since 2007. Its library includes more than 1,000 titles including “War, Inc.,” “Transsiberian,” “Priceless” and “King of California.” Recent theatrical releases include “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.”