TriStar president of distribution William C. Soady is ankling the studio to become chief executive officer of Culver City-based Showscan Corp., marking one of the first exits of a major studio distribution exec to a high-tech company.
Showscan chairman and acting chief executive officer W.D. Eberle confirmed that Soady has been hired to run the publicly traded company.
Eberle will relinquish the CEO title when Soady joins the company. Eberle said Sony had let Soady out of his contract to join Showscan, which builds motion simulation systems and high-technology cinemas.
The move comes just prior to NATO/ShoWest ’94, where studio distribution toppers typically launch a full-court campaign to curry the favor of exhibitors. TriStar is not sponsoring a major NATO/ShoWest event, however, so Soady’s absence will not be quite so glaring for the studio.
Soady’s six years as distribution president paralleled TriStar’s transition from a start-up distributor into a major league operation, which included the transformation of “Look Who’s Talking” from a low-budget sleeper into a $ 138 million hit.