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Cripps upped to UIP prexy, CEO

Oneile bumped to chairman

SYDNEY — Andrew Cripps is being elevated to president/CEO of United Intl. Pictures, an inducement that thwarted an attempt by DreamWorks to hire the world-regarded distribution exec.

Current president/CEO Paul Oneile is being moved up to chairman of UIP, a new position, according to Hollywood sources close to UIP partner studios.

Cripps has been exec VP, international sales, at the distrib pro venture owned by Paramount, Universal and MGM for about nine years, after serving with UIP in Japan and Hong Kong.

It’s understood he was on the verge of accepting a senior post, based in London, at DreamWorks, where he would have worked with the co-heads of international distribution, Jonathan Chissick and Gerry Lewis.

When the UIP partners were informed of the DreamWorks offer, Cripps was hastily summoned to Los Angeles last week and a counteroffer was made with the approval of Oneile.

Neither Cripps nor Oneile could be contacted. Sources close to the UIP partners say the new appointments are due to be announced today or Tuesday.

The promotion for Cripps indicates that the UIP partners were anxious not to lose an exec of his experience, especially so relatively soon after the retirement of exec VP of marketing Hy Smith.

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