Jeff Blake has signed a long-term contract with Sony Pictures that will see him continue as chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group through 2012.

Blake's current contract is due to expire at the end of 2008. He was named chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution at Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group in September 2005 and became president of Sony Pictures Releasing in August 1994. Prior to that he served as president of domestic distribution for Columbia Pictures.

'Jeff Blake has been and will continue to be one of Sony Pictures' most valued senior executives and strategists,' Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said.

'His leadership on films as diverse as Spider-Man, The Da Vinci Code, The Pursuit Of Happyness, Superbad, and Casino Royale has been critical to the success of Sony's biggest hits.'

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) co-chairman Amy Pascal called Blake 'one of the smartest and most widely respected and admired executives in his field'.

She added that under Blake's tenure since assuming the role of vice chairman of SPE in 2002, the studio had released 52 number one films and was the only studio to generate more than $8bn in domestic grosses since that time.

'I've always been lucky to work for and with great people and I'm especially proud to be a member of the team here at Sony,' Blake said.

'I am grateful to all of the talented marketing and distribution executives who work for Sony Pictures worldwide, and, who I believe, are the best in the business and do an extraordinary job.'

Before entering the Sony/Columbia fold, Blake was executive vice president and general sales manager of domestic distribution at Paramount from 1987 to 1992. He began his career at Paramount in 1974.