20th Century Fox Relocating Asia Pacific Theatrical Operations from Sydney to Singapore (Exclusive)

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James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox

As the studio moves to be closer to the huge China market, its regional leadership is also getting a shake-up, with industry veteran Kurt Rieder replacing Sunder Kimatrai as the senior exec in APAC.

20th Century Fox's regional operations in Asia Pacific are getting a shake-up.

In an internal memo circulated this week, the Murdoch family-controlled studio revealed that its regional headquarters are moving from Sydney to Singapore. The studio told staff that the primary purpose of the move is to be closer to the growing markets of Asia, particularly the booming Chinese film sector. Fox confirmed the relocation to THR on Tuesday.

The studio's executive ranks in the region will also undergo a change. Sunder Kimatrai, executive vp of APAC, will depart the studio after 24 years. He will be replaced by Kurt Rieder, former CEO of the Turkish movie theater circuit Mars Cinema Group, according to the memo.

Rieder spent three and half years leading Mars. Once rumored for a buyout by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group before it was acquired last year by South Korea’s CJ-CGV, the company is Turkey's largest exhibitor by far, with more than 750 screens at 85 locations in 32 cities nationwide. Rieder previously spent more than a decade as CEO of Golden Village, Singapore's biggest cinema chain. He also served as a managing director at Artisan Gateway, a consulting firm specializing in the film industries of Asia Pacific.

Kimatrai, a well-respected figure in the industry, joined Fox International in 1993 as managing director for India. After rising through the ranks, he was named head of APAC, based in Sydney, in 2005.  

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