Tony Vinciquerra Named Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO

Tony Vinciquerra Named Sony Pictures Entertainment
Alex J. Berliner/Berliner Studio/BEI/REX/Shutterstock;DAMIAN DOVARGANES/AP PHOTO

Tony Vinciquerra, a veteran entertainment executive, will lead Sony’s television and film division. The news was officially announced Thursday. Vinciquerra will report to Sony Corp. president and CEO Kazuo Hirai. His start date will be June 1.

He will be tasked with trying to stabilize a studio that has struggled to field box office hits and is still shaking off a devastating 2015 hack that exposed private emails and internal documents. Vinciquerra will replace Michael Lynton, who announced in January that he was stepping down after 13 years atop the entertainment division. Lynton said he planned to devote more time to his work as chairman of the board at SnapChat.

Unlike Lynton, Vinciquerra will not oversee Sony’s music operations. He will be based in Los Angeles.

“Tony is a proven, results-oriented leader with extensive experience running and driving growth in large, complex media and entertainment businesses,” said Hirai in a press release. “His operating skills, effectiveness working with creative teams and expertise in managing digital disruption and new technologies make him the perfect choice to lead SPE, and build on the studio’s turnaround efforts to date. I want to thank Michael for his years of service and dedication to the success of our entertainment businesses, and for his commitment to our CEO search and this transition.”

“I am thrilled to be joining SPE at such an exciting and dynamic time for the studio, and for the industry as a whole,” said Vinciquerra. “Everything about how we produce, distribute and consume content is changing, and I see tremendous opportunities working with the enormously talented teams at SPE, Sony Corp and the other Sony companies. I want to thank Kaz for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to hitting the ground running.”

“Tony’s breadth of experience spanning media, tech and entertainment will enable him to expertly lead SPE and its multi-faceted lines of business,” said Lynton. “After 13 extraordinary years, I know SPE, its strengths and its culture, and I am confident that Tony will make a terrific leader who will take the studio to new heights.”

Vinciquerra headed Fox Networks Group for a decade before stepping down in early 2011. He’s since worked as a consultant to numerous entertainment firms and private equity group TPG. Through his work as a senior advisor to TPG Capital, Vinciquerra has been involved in Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment startup venture, in which TPG is an investor. He also sits on the board of directors of Univision.

Vinciquerra does not have extensive film industry experience, but he impressed Sony’s corporate leadership in Japan with his knowledge of data and his willingness to use analytical tools to make decisions.

His appointment calls into question the future of Tom Rothman, the hard-charging film studio chief who has tried to reinvigorate Sony’s slate of franchises and make the company more responsive to the global audience. However, his brusque style and bottom-line focus have alienated executives and some talent.