Bill Pohlad has commenced the first stage of restructuring at Apparition, cutting 60% of the company’s bicoastal workforce and hiring Tom Ortenberg as consultant.
A total of 15 staff from the Los Angeles and New York offices were told today they were being made redundant. The new York office will close within several months as Pohlad keeps a skeleton staff of roughly ten on the West Coast.
Ortenberg will focus on the company’s immediate future and will consult on the marketing and distribution strategy for Terrence Malick’s long awaited The Tree Of Life.
The move follows the abrupt departure on the eve of Cannes of Bob Berney, Pohlad’s founding partner at Apparition who is understood to have grown frustrated with Pohlad’s lack of dynamism in the acquisitions arena.
A number of longtime Berney associates may reunite with the New York-based executive if he as expected forms a distribution venture with GK Films.
“Over the last few weeks, circumstances have forced us to rethink the direction and operations of the company, and regrettably this has resulted in layoffs impacting our staff and changes for our colleagues,” Pohlad said.
“Still, we very much believe in the mission set forth with Apparition, and welcome Tom Ortenberg’s expertise and consultation in the coming weeks and months. In addition, he will be a valuable asset for us on preparing to bring The Tree Of Life to audiences.”
“I very much respect Bill’s thoughtful approach to Apparition, and look forward to being helpful in its success,” Ortenberg said. “I am thrilled to work with Bill and the rest of the team on Terry Malick’s profound film The Tree Of Life.”