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Sony Pictures ups Peter Schlessel

Exec named new president of worldwide affairs

Peter Schlessel has been upped to president of worldwide affairs at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Schlessel, who was named prexy of the Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group in 2006, will be replaced in that role but will retain oversight of the group. In his new post, he will also oversee key corporatewide initiatives and identify strategic opportunities for the company. Schlessel will report directly to chair-CEO Michael Lynton and co-chair Amy Pascal.

Lynton said the move reflects the importance of coordinated, strategic planning across all lines at SPE. He added, Schlessel “has become a key player in many aspects of our overall business.”

Pascal lauded Schlessel’s “invaluable range of business and creative experiences and his personal skills.”

Schlessel’s showbiz career began in 1989 in the business and legal affairs group of RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video. He has since held several key senior positions at Sony Pictures, including senior veep of acquisitions and business affairs, playing a pivotal role in the formation of Screen Gems in 1996. He also was president of production of Columbia Pictures and eventually prexy of Columbia Pictures.

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Before rejoining the company in 2004, Schlessel was an independent consultant to several companies including Mandate Pictures, DreamWorks and Participant Prods., which he helped create.