Andrew Gumpert, the head of Sony Pictures' business affairs group and one of the most respected dealmakers in Hollywood, will exit his post in the latest sign of unrest at the Sony film studio.
Gumpert is one of several top executives who have expressed frustration with studio chairman Tom Rothman in recent weeks. Those complaints have reached Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton.
Gumpert began his dealmaking career at the entertainment law firm Hill Wynne Troop before joining Sony in a legal affairs job. He then did a seven-year stint at Miramax during the Harvey Weinstein heyday before returning to Sony in the top business affairs job. He was honored in 2015 with The Hollywood Reporter's Raising the Bar award at its annual Power Lawyers event.
Here is the memo to staff from Rothman:
I am writing to inform you of some important changes taking place within Business Affairs in the Motion Picture Group.
Andrew Gumpert, President of Business Affairs for MPG, will be leaving the company this week. Concurrent with Andrew's departure, Mike Marshall will be promoted to President of business affairs for Columbia Pictures.
I want to thank Andrew for his years of outstanding service to SPE. Andrew has expertly guided SPE through some of the studio's biggest and most complex deals, and made possible many of our greatest successes. I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career.
Mike is an absolute pro with firm commitment to our mission, and I am thrilled to have him at the helm of business affairs at our flagship label. We anticipate a seamless transition.
For the last 20 months, we have worked together to restructure and strengthen the Motion Picture Group. As you all know, the kind of wholesale change we are working towards is a challenging effort that takes time, and I want to thank all of you for your ongoing commitment. We are feeling very good about our recent results, as evidenced by the recent quarterly earnings report, and, moving forward into 2017, confident in our new slate and turnaround efforts overall.
Please join me in thanking Andrew for his contributions to SPE and congratulating Mike on his promotion.