Weeks after he left Sony Pictures and his longtime post as head of business affairs, Andrew Gumpert has joined Paramount Pictures as chief operating officer. The appointment was made by Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey. At the same time, longtime COO Frederick Huntsberry is leaving Paramount after a decade there. Gumpert will start in January.
According to the studio, Gumpert will lead business affairs as well as home entertainment and television transactional distribution, and be responsible for the studio’s primary operating functions including strategic planning, business development, legal and labor relations, human resources, studio operations and parks and resorts. In a recent interview with Deadline, Grey noted a couple of criticisms of the studio that were heard around town. One was that it is incredibly hard to make a deal with business affairs at Paramount. Gumpert, who clashed with Sony chief Tom Rothman, nonetheless was considered a beloved figure around town, and one who did not make you groan at the prospect at closing a deal with him. Grey also acknowledged the need to bring in a sharp business executive in the wake of Rob Moore’s exit as vice chairman. Gumpert won’t run business affairs at Paramount, but he does seem to tick off several boxes here.
“I could not be more pleased to welcome Andrew to our executive team,” Grey said. “He is one of the most respected executives in our industry, known for his hard work, integrity, steady hand and business acumen. He is the perfect addition to our team, and we all look forward to working with him.”
Said Gumpert: “I feel privileged to join Brad and his team. I have known Brad and the leadership of Paramount for most of my career and couldn’t be more excited to become part of this legendary studio and work alongside such a talented group of executives.”
Speaking of Huntsberry, Grey said: “I want to thank Frederick for his many years of dedicated service, his great work and his myriad of contributions to this studio. We all wish him the very best as he chooses his next venture.”
At Sony, Gumpert ran worldwide business affairs and operations for the motion picture group and secured co-financing arrangements and new and emerging revenue streams for theatrical releases. He managed financial partnerships Sony had with entities including MGM, Lonestar Capital, Village Roadshow, and the recent finance/marketing deal with the Dalian Wanda Group. He had been at Sony since 2005 and before that ran business affairs for Miramax under Harvey and Bob Weinstein. He started as a business litigator with the law firm Hill, Wynne, Troop and Meisinger.