Gareth Wigan takes on new role with Sony


Gareth Wigan, a 21-year vet at Columbia Pictures, is stepping back from his day-to-day role as co-running the studio's international motion pictures production group and taking on the new role of strategic adviser to Sony Pictures Entertainment's international film business.

Wigan said that while he's had a long career, his cutting back does not mean retirement is on the horizon.

"This role will allow me to remain involved in doing what I love, while continuing to add value to the company which has been such a big part of my life," he said.

Wigan joined Columbia in 1987 as a consultant. Along with running the international motion picture production group with president Deborah Schindler, who joined the group last year, Wigan has been vice chair of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group since 1997.

Sony co-chair Amy Pascal lauded Wigan for his work with some of the studio's best films, including "Sense and Sensibility," "The Remains of the Day" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

"Almost single-handedly, Gareth built up our international film business, making him a real pioneer in our industry," Sony CEO and chair Michael Lynton said. "He recognized early on the power of the global market, which is so crucial to our growth in the years ahead."

Under Wigan's watch, Sony became the first major studio to maintain standalone, local language production units in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Wigan and Schindler recently worked in the expansion of the studio's film ventures in India and Russia. The group is also active in China, Spain, France and Mexico, the latter of which will release "Casi Divas" on April 11.

Prior to Columbia, Wigan partnered with Paula Wagner in a production company, releasing the 1985 film "American Flyers," and worked with The Ladd Co. on "Outland," "The Right Stuff" and "Police Academy."

The Oxford University grad also worked for 20th Century Fox as vp of production, supervising such films as "Alien," "Turning Point" and "Breaking Away."