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Universal Pictures vice chairman-COO Rick Finkelstein, who plans to retire in two years, will transition out of his current role to focus on special projects for Universal Studios prexy-COO Ron Meyer.

Finkelstein, who’s been in the industry for 35 years — 13 with Universal — was given the enhanced role in 2009 as a key strategic adviser to the current Universal Pictures chair Adam Fogelson and co-chair Donna Langley. He currently oversees worldwide home entertainment, television distribution, digital distribution and strategic alliances.

Finkelstein will stay in his role until his replacement is hired, after which he’ll move over to Meyer’s office.

Before transitioning to vice chairman and COO of Universal Pictures, Finkelstein served as Universal Pictures vice chair and exec VP of Universal Studios, a position he held since July 2006. Finkelstein also represents U on the board of directors of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

Finkelstein, Universal Pictures prexy since November 1999, was named chief operating officer in December 2000. He joined U from Polygram Filmed Entertainment, where he served as exec VP and worked on integrating the company into Universal Studios.