The new combination of Lionsgate and Summit is laying off roughly 80 people — about 12% of its total workforce — on Friday, the same day it named chief operating officer Steve Beeks prexy of the studio’s Motion Picture Group and reupped him as COO.
Most of the 80 employees, representing positions at both companies, were being informed today. Pink slips had been expected as part of an ongoing integration of Lionsgate (which started the merger with about 500 employees) with Summit (which started with about 150). Much of the overlap was in the motion picture and home entertainment departments.
Combined companies should wind up with around 575 employees, which means more exits are anticipated. However, those job losses should come more through attrition than layoffs.
A Lionsgate spokesperson declined to comment on the departures.
Beeks has been at Lionsgate for 14 years, and has held the COO position since 2007. In his capacity as co-chief operating Officer, Beeks will continue to report to Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer; in his new role in Motion Pictures he we will report to Lionsgate group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger.
Beeks will be responsible for corporate operations and administrative matters and will continue to play a key role in strategic direction. He also has directed oversight of Lionsgate U.K. and the company’s home entertainment operations, including packaged media, worldwide television distribution and digital media initiatives.
Within the Motion Picture group, Beeks will focus on business, financial and planning decisions for the combined Lionsgate and Summit theatrical slates, including home entertainment releases. New Motion Picture production prexy Erik Feig will spearhead creative decisions and continue to report directly to Friedman and Wachsberger.
“Steve and Erik bring complementary strengths to our motion picture group,” said Friedman and Wachsberger in a statement. “Steve’s financial acumen and business leadership, coupled with Erik’s creative prowess and incredible eye for films with global appeal, position our filmed entertainment operations for continued growth and industry leadership worldwide.”