Aardman, Moore part

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LONDON -- Stephen Moore, head of features and COO of U.K. claymation studio Aardman Animations, has left the company with the conclusion of his two-year contract.

Moore, formerly president of international at 20th Century Fox, was brought in by Aardman in January 2006 to end its distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation and to find it a new partner.

In April, he announced an exclusive three-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment, hailed by the Bristol-based studio as "the next chapter in the story of Aardman."

Moore said he is now developing several entertainment projects and felt the time had come to move on. "I went for two years, and the reality is that I did what I was asked to do in that time span," he said.

A spokesman for Aardman, home to the "Wallace and Gromit" movies, said Moore had "delivered on what he was challenged to do and that's it. Hats off to Stephen. Knowing him, he will move on to bigger and better things."

Moore will not be replaced, and Aardman co-founder David Sproxton will resume control, the spokesman added.
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