Belgrad came to Sony in 1989 and has survived through multiple administrations, including the arrival last year of Tom Rothman as chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group.
Belgrad had been among the frontrunners for the chairman’s job when Amy Pascal stepped down last year, following the scandal over the hack of the company’s computers, and revelations that Pascal made racially-charged statements. But Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton instead chose Rothman to head the studio.
Belgrad, 50, made the move of his own volition, the sources said. They said he plans to stay through the summer, past the opening of “Ghostbusters” and after the studio has solidified its slate heading into 2017.
News about Belgrad’s exit comes one day after Steve Mosko stepped down as the head of Sony’s television unit, after reportedly clashing with Sony entertainment’s top executive, Lynton. One Sony executive said the Belgrad departure was unconnected to Mosko’s exit.
Belgrad had served as the top deputy to Pascal and was well liked on the Culver City lot, where the one-time securities analyst was known for his financial acumen and steady management style, which won him many allies, both on the lot and among the studio’s producing partners.
It’s expected that Belgrad will shift into a producing deal with the studio.
More to come.