Peter Schlessel has been appointed president of worldwide affairs at Sony Pictures Entertainment and will step down from his role as president of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG).

A replacement president for SPWAG will be announced in due course although Schlessel will retain oversight of the Group.

In his new role he will oversee key corporate-wide initiatives and identify strategic opportunities for the company. He reports to CEO and chairman Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal.

'This promotion reflects the importance of coordinated, strategic planning across all of our lines of business, and Peter is the perfect person to partner with in this effort,' Lynton.

'I have had a long relationship with Peter that I truly value, and I'm excited to work closely with him again in helping to maintain and expand Sony Pictures' role in the entertainment community,' Pascal said.

Schlessel joined the business and legal affairs group of RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video in 1989 and has since held several key senior positions at Sony. He was named senior vice president of acquisitions and business affairs in 1994 and played a pivotal role in the formation of Screen Gems in 1996.

He climbed to president of production of Columbia Pictures in 2000, and eventually served as president of Columbia Pictures. He served as an independent consultant from 2004 and returned to the Sony fold where he was named SPWAG president in 2006.