As uncertainty continued to swirl over the fate of international sales staff following Lionsgate’s acquisition of Summit, Screendaily has learned that Helen Lee Kim will stay on through the market and head a team handling titles from both the Lionsgate and Summit slates.
The development comes after it emerged during the EFM last month that David Garrett would be stepping down from his role as president of international sales at Summit.
However beyond this the succession issue remains unresolved. Although Kim is still under contract, speculation is rife among the sales community that she will eventually depart, possibly to work with her longtime colleague Joe Drake, the president of Lionsgate’s motion picture film group.
To this end Patrick Wachsberger, who was recently installed as co-chair of Lionsgate Motion Pictures Group alongside his former Summit Entertainment co-chairman Rob Friedman, is understood to be compiling a list of candidates.
Wachsberger will travel to the Croisette and will doubtless liaise closely with Kim on sales, an area he is intimately familiar with having earned the reputation as arguably the preeminent sales person in the business during his tenure at Summit and previous appointments.
Meanwhile Drake will remain at Lionsgate to shepherd the Mar 23 release of The Hunger Games, a potential blockbuster franchise that he has championed. The film will open day-and-date in a number of key markets following a roaring pre-sale trade overseen by Kim.
Last month Summit sources said Garrett would stay on at the merged company to assist in the transition, but it remains unclear for how long.