After less than six months on the job, Brian Edwards has left his post as chief operating officer at Relativity Media, marking the fifth high-level exec to ankle Ryan Kav-anaugh’s production-distribution venture in less than a year.
The string of departures began in January, when CFO Bill Sutman quit, followed by marketing and distribution prexy Peter Adee in April; president Michael Joe in May; and senior VP of acquisitions Joe Matukewicz, whose move to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions was unveiled on Monday.
And the exodus may not be over. Relativity prexy Steve Bertram, promoted from chief operating officer when Joe left the company, is said to be weighing whether to stay at Relativity after his contract expires at the end of this month.
Turnover comes as Relativity’s talks with JP Morgan, which was being courted as a replacement for primary investor Elliot Management, have come to a standstill. (Daily Variety, Nov. 11).
Elliot, the New York-based hedge fund that helped get Relativity off the ground by backing its co-financing deals with Universal, is in the process of cutting its ties to the studio, leaving Kavanaugh hunting for a new financial backer.
Edwards joined the company in May from Mark Burnett Prods. and left Relativity in October, the studio confirmed Thursday following an L.A. Times report. Edwards is a former COO and general counsel at DreamWorks, and held the same posts at Burnett’s company.
The company’s big-budget “Immortals” has grossed $77 million in North America, and its $100 million Snow White pic “Mirror, Mirror” hits U.S. theaters in March.