Focus Features Announces More Key Senior Hires

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Peter Schlessel

UDATED: Incoming Focus CEO Peter Schlessel is expanding his team to include additional FilmDistrict executives.

Focus Features announced more executive appointments as new CEO Peter Schlessel prepares to take the helm of the reconfigured company in January. Schlessel will bring over several execs from FilmDistrict to join him at Focus, which will have offices based in Los Angeles.

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Film District’s Beth Lemberger will be executive vp business affairs, joining Howard Meyers, who is currently executive vp business affairs, production at Focus Features. They will both report to Schlessel. 

FilmDistrict’s Kevin Monroe will serve as senior vp business affairs for Focus, reporting to Lemberger.
Robert T. Gibson will continue as Focus’ CFO and senior vp finance and report to newly appointed Focus Features COO Adrian Alperovich.

Brad Goldberg of FilmDistrict will serve as executive vp marketing, reporting to the newly appointed Focus Features president of marketing, Christine Birch.
FilmDistrict’s Tracy Pollard will become Focus’ senior vp creative advertising, also reporting to Birch.
Joshua M. McLaughlin
will continue on with Focus and serve as senior vp production, reporting to Focus Features president of production Jeb Brody.
Louis Phillips will remain as Focus Features’ executive vp physical production, reporting to Alperovich.
FilmDistrict’s Abby Ex will become Focus Features' senior vp acquisitions, reporting to Lia Buman, president of acquisitions at Focus.
Focus Features executive vp strategic planning, business affairs and acquisitions, Avy Eschenasy, will serve as an advisor to Schlessel, Alperovich and Lemberger during the transition

In October, Universal announced that FilmDistrict's Schlessel would take over Focus, and James Schamus, who co-founded the unit more than a decade ago, would depart.

On Nov. 6, it was announced that the London-based Focus Features International would be closing its doors on Dec. 31, marking the final step in a dramatic overhaul of the Universal-owned specialty division.