Rich Sullivan, DreamWorks Animation’s deputy chief financial officer, is said to be departing and heading to the still unnamed studio led by Robert Simonds, multiple sources close to both studios confirmed. Sullivan is expected to begin next month as chief financial officer.
The Simonds-led studio is looking to finance, distribute and produce eight to 10 star-driven properties with mid-range budgets and an emphasis on global appeal. The venture vows to sidestep the traditional distribution process in favor of what it described as “unprecedented direct distribution agreements” with exhibitors AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark and Carmike.
The news of Sullivan’s move comes a day after DreamWorks Animation hired Fazal Merchant, former DirecTV SVP and CFO of DirectTV Latin America to be its CFO.
The new studio venture, which was co-founded by Simonds, Gigi Pritzker, TPG Growth and Hony Captial, has already looked to hire Oren Aviv, former Fox marketing president, and already recruited former Paramount COO Thomas McGrath, who is now its COO.
Deadline first reported news of Sullivan’s move.