Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey have appointed Mark Gooder CEO of the Icon Group of companies as Davey prepares to step down as CEO of Icon Productions on January 1, 2008 while continuing as chairman of the board.

Gooder will step up from his current role as president of acquisitions and development to oversee Icon Productions, Icon Entertainment International and the UK and Australian distribution companies. He also joins the Icon board along with COO and CFO Vicki Christianson.

Gooder established the Australian distribution company for Icon in 2000 and moved to Los Angeles in 2006 to oversee production, acquisition and distribution operations.

'The Icon Group need to continue to evolve to maintain leadership and capitalise on the opportunities in the ever-interesting independent film world,' Davey said.

'Mark has all the necessary skills and enthusiasm to move Icon forward to the next level. To support Mark we have an excellent team in Vicki Christianson, David Miercourt and Ariel Veneziano and Mel and I are extremely optimistic of Icon's future.'

'I've learned from the best and look forward to continuing the strengthening of the Icon brand under the new structure,' Gooder said. 'Bruce and Mel have always had a strong vision for the company and I'm proud to be an integral part of that vision moving forward.'

Icon Production's slate includes Paul McGuigan's thriller Push starring Chris Evans, Djimon Hounsou and Dakota Fanning, which the company is co-financing and co-selling with Summit Entertainment. Other titles are Australian family drama The Black Balloon starring Toni Collette and Kyle Rankin's horror comedy Infestation.