Joni Sighvatsson has ankled his post as president of Paramount-based Lakeshore Entertainment, a position he had held since the company was founded in January 1995.
Sighvatsson, who chose not to renew his recently expired three-year contract, according to a spokesman for the company, has no immediate plans.
“(Lakeshore co-chairman Tom Rosenberg) and I felt that I had fulfilled the targets that he set for the company when he brought me on board, and he has respected my desire for breathing space and the chance to see what opportunities there are outside Lakeshore,” Sighvatsson said in a written statement.
Along with Lakeshore founders Rosenberg and Ted Tannebaum, Sighvatsson helped build up the financing and production company, increasing the size of its feature film budgets, expanding into international sales and even forming a small music division.
“Joni has been an invaluable member of the Lakeshore team as we have built up the company to its present level of activity,” Rosenberg said, in the same written statement. “He decided that it was time to move on at the end of his three-year contract, and he does so with my complete understanding and support.”
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Sighvatsson added that he planned to spend the summer deciding what his next move would be.
Neither Rosenberg nor Sighvatsson, who is on vacation in his native Iceland, was available for interviews.
Rosenberg has become increasingly hands-on in recent months, playing a larger day-to-day role in the company’s film production activities, insiders said.
Lakeshore’s current projects include the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere starrer “Runaway Bride” and “The Next Best Thing,” to which Madonna and Rupert Everett are attached to star.
The company is also reportedly considering making a bid for Polygram’s film division.
Sighvatsson joined Lakeshore from film, commercial and musicvid production company Propaganda, which he co-founded with Steve Golin in 1986. The company made a name for itself with such edgy fare as David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” and John Dahl’s “Red Rock West.”
By the time Sighvatsson left in 1994, Propaganda had established itself as one of Polygram’s key film labels.