There've been changes down at Sony's digital group over the last week and year. First Penny Finkelman Coxe departed her Sony Pictures Animation executive position, then last week Yair Landau left for ostensibly greener pastures.
And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony exec Bob Osher's stepping into the slot Laundau is leaving:
Osher joined Sony Pictures in 2004, and has been serving as COO of the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group; he will continue to have oversight over his current areas of responsibility within that group.
Sounds to me like Mr. Osher's responsiblities are expanding, and that Sony has effectively eliminated one executive slot (or two, if Sandra Rabins move to producer is counted).
But, for me, that wasn't the most interesting facet of the article. This was:
In 2007, SPE generated attention when it retained an investment bank to place a value on Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation. "There were discussions about selling Imageworks. Strategically, we made a decision to take that off the table," Osher said. "We think it is a terrific business to be in."
Over the last few months, I've heard Sony animation employees speculate darkly that the whole joint was going to be sold off. It's good to know -- assuming that the Reporter's story is accurate -- that won't be happening.
One less animation shop means one less group of artists and technicians earning a paycheck. And that's not something anyone wants.