Busy day for Panavision brass

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Panavision is set to announce several moves today, including that president and CEO Bob Beitcher will take on an additional role as co-chairman of parent company MacAndrews & Forbes Media Group and that Ross Landsbaum has been upped to senior executive vp and COO of Panavision.

In the newly created position, Landsbaum -- who was executive vp and CFO -- will assume day-to-day responsibility for Panavision's worldwide operations from the head office in Woodland Hills.

"The move is part of our strategy to build strength across the senior management team to allow for more efficiency and growth potential," Beitcher said.

Panavision, as well as Deluxe, is a wholly owned subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes, whose chairman and CEO is businessman Ronald Perelman.

"This reflects a few things," Beitcher said of the Panavision moves. "The company is getting too large for one person to run day to day and also focus on acquisitions. Second, it reflects what Ross was already doing in terms of operations. Third, (it addresses the belief) on Ron Perelman's part that future growth depends on acquisitions."

Panavision also hired John Suh as executive vp and CFO and David Demont as senior vp global human resources. Suh recently was CFO of the worldwide theatrical services group at Technicolor, which included worldwide film service and digital-cinema activities. Demont will be responsible for Panavision's global human resource matters.

Beitcher, who will continue to work from Panavision's Woodland Hills office, said that in his new role with the parent company, he will help to "plot out future growth strategies for (Panavision and Deluxe) and to the degree that there will be acquisitions in that growth strategy. Additionally, (Perelman) may be interested in media-type acquisitions that would not be appropriate for Panavision or Deluxe."

Panavision's company strategy in recent years has included film and digital acquisitions. That included North America-based digital camera rental company Plus8 Digital; Paris-based film equipment rental company Technovision France; and lighting, camera and studio rental facilities AFM Group, which has operations in London, Prague, Sydney, and Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa.

"We might surprise people with extending our interest in the value chain outside immediate capture," Beitcher said.

The continuing growth path for Deluxe, he added, will include "adding geographic scope and scale and looking at adjacencies in the value chain." An example is the recently announced plans for Deluxe to open a full-service facility in New York.
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