The studio has confirmed that Helen Lee Kim will step down as president of international after Cannes, as first reported on Screendaily last month. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Patrick Wachsberger will lead the new team and made the announcement on Thursday (12).
The new international sales, distribution marketing and publicity structure will service existing distribution partners with films from both the Lionsgate and Summit slates as a result of the January merger, as well as third party films.
Wachsberger (pictured) will take the lead on select territories alongside evp of international sales Anne-Marie Ross, svp of international sales Crystal Bourbeau and evp Wendy Reeds, who also heads sales for the fledgling Celestial Tiger Entertainment venture in Asia.
Summit veteran Jill Jones will oversee the restructured international marketing and publicity operation as evp of international marketing and publicity.
Executive vp of international distribution Brad Kembel also arrived from Summit and his team will oversee international distribution operations.
Brent Jack, who until the restructure served for years as Lionsgate’s evp of international marketing and publicity, was offered a position but has decided to leave the company.
“Backed by a tremendous pipeline of films, we believe that this team of entrepreneurial executives is superbly qualified to lead the Lionsgate and Summit brands for years to come in an international marketplace rich with opportunity,” Wachsberger said. “This team blends diverse strengths from both companies, and we believe that it reflects the enormous potential that can be achieved by our combined operations going forward.”
Ross oversees several key European territories as well as Latin America and Japan and has been in sales at Lionsgate for 11 years, playing significant roles in the launch of The Hunger Games and Saw franchises.
Bourbeau joined Lionsgate International in 2007 and manages territories in Asia, Spain and Eastern Europe including Russia.
Reeds relocated to Hong Kong last year and serves as evp of content and distribution at Celestial Tiger Entertainment, Lionsgate’s venture with the Saban Capital Group and Astro’s Celestial Pictures.
Jones previously served as svp of international marketing and publicity at Summit and prior to this was svp of corporate and international publicity at DDA PR and svp of marketing and communications at Alliance Atlantis.
Kembel worked as a senior international distribution executive for Summit for the past 20 years and before that held international distribution positions at Sovereign Pictures and Cineplex Odeon Films.
In February Summit’s president of international sales David Garrett announced he was stepping down. The London-based executive is expected to launch his new sales operation imminently.
Kim has been a close ally of outgoing motion picture group president Joe Drake and there is speculation she will team up with him on a future venture.