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Just 24 hours after Jeff Blake confirmed that he is stepping down from his post as Sony Pictures vice chairman, the studio has already zeroed in on a list of five potential candidates to replace him.
Oren Aviv and Adam Fogelson are among the handful of industry veterans that Sony is targeting, according to a knowledgeable source. Also on the studio’s shortlist are Mark Zoradi, Terry Press and Tony Sella.
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Fogelson, who came up through the marketing ranks at Universal before assuming the top post at the studio, was ousted in September in a move that came as a surprise to the industry. Aviv most recently was co-chief of marketing at 20th Century Fox, a post shared with Sella. Aviv left the studio in October. Zoradi is the former Disney film president, while Press recently assumed the top leadership role at CBS Films as Wolfgang Hammer, who was the division’s co-president, exited his post.
According to the source, Sella is considered a dark horse candidate.
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Blake stepped down from his post overseeing worldwide marketing and distribution, a move that was characterized as a mutual decision. Blake, who had been with the studio for 22 years, vacates one of the highest posts in town on Aug. 1. His exit had been rumored for several months.
Sony is looking to move quickly to replace Blake. In the interim, Sony’s worldwide distribution head Rory Bruer will take over Blake’s duties on the distribution front, while marketing chief Dwight Caines will tackle Blake’s marketing responsibilities.
No formal discussions have yet begun with the candidates, according to the source.
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