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Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi is set to retire at the end of the year, with Sean Gamble, CFO and COO, named as Zoradi’s successor from Jan. 1, 2022.
A Hollywood veteran who previously ran distribution at Disney, Zoradi is widely admired and news of his retirement has rattled the major studios as key film suppliers to theater chains. He will remain on the company’s board of directors until 2024.
Until Zoradi’s departure, Gamble has been named president and will serve as CEO and president from the beginning of 2022. Cinemark said Zoradi will work closely with Gamble and the executive leadership team over thenext five months to ensure a smooth transition.
Zoradi became CEO of the cinema chain in 2015 and set about to woo viewers away from alternatives such as Netflix and other digital platforms by installing luxury recliner seating and new dining options in his theaters. But the third-largest theater circuit in the U.S. behind AMC Theatres and Regal has been heavily impacted by the pandemic as Cinemark faced theater closures and reopenings nationwide.
Gamble will succeed Zoradi as the exhibition industry experiences still more major upheavals as the major studios have begun to shift big budget tentpoles to premium video-on-demand, a platform that has come into its own during the COVID-19 crisis with a shattering of the traditional theatrical window.
Cinemark and other major exhibitors have held ongoing negotiations with their major studio suppliers on the terms and structures of the evolving theatrical window. Post-pandemic, Zoradi and other heads of movie theater circuits have predicted the major studios will return to a more traditional and extended theatrical window in 2022.
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