Lionsgate announced Thursday morning that Joe Drake has returned to the company as co-chair of its motion picture group. Drake will serve alongside Patrick Wachsberger, who recently signed on to run Lionsgate’s worldwide film operations.
The newly named co-chair returns to the company where he previously served as co-COO and motion picture group president for five years before going off to found Good Universe in 2012. At Lionsgate, Drake was responsible for launching the “Hunger Games” and “Expendables” franchises.
His Good Universe co-founder and CEO Nathan Kahane will continue to head the banner under Lionsgate’s ownership. Kahane will continue to oversee key talent partnerships including Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver’s Point Grey Pictures and Fede Alvarez’s Bad Hombre.
“We’re delighted to welcome Joe and Nathan, entrepreneurs with a great track record, back to Lionsgate,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns in a statement. “Joe is one of the architects of our portfolio film strategy and a perfect fit for our culture. With Joe joining an incredibly talented group of executives, we’ve assembled a team with unparalleled knowledge of the global film marketplace while at the same time strengthening our relationships with best-in-class talent and continuing the diversification of our content platform.”
The co-chair position that Drake fills has been vacant for about a year since Rob Friedman stepped down.
The deal was negotiated by Sheppard Mullin, Richter and Hampton and Lionsgate co-COO Brian Goldsmith and general counsel and chief strategic officer Wayne Levin for Lionsgate. It was negotiated by O’Melveny and Myers LLP and Good Universe’s Michael Meyer and Jeremy Needleman for Good Universe.