The approachable, hard-working senior executive was the architect of such international hits as the Spider-Man series and The Da Vinci Code. Steven O’Dell is promoted to president of Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI).

Zucker will remain at the studio for another month or so and most recently orchestrated the $400m-plus release of late summer smash The Smurfs (pictured) as well as the upcoming The Adventures Of Tintin.

A close collaboration with president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer and chairman of Sony Pictures worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake has yielded 11 $1bn years out of the past 12 and delivered 36 $100m-plus hits and more than $14bn in overall box office.

Career highlights include the two most recent James Bond films, which were the highest-grossing films in franchise history, Hancock, 2012 and Angels & Demons. In 2003 and 2008, Zucker was honoured by his peers as International Distributor Of The Year.

Zucker served 27 years at Sony after joining the studio in 1984 as vp of marketing and distribution administration for TriStar Pictures. He was promoted in 1990 to vp of operations administration for Columbia Pictures Distribution and climbed two years later to svp.

He served from 1990-1994 as vp and subsequently svp operations and administration for Columbia Pictures Domestic Distribution. From 1994-1996 he was svp operations and administration and served as evp of domestic distribution for Sony Pictures Releasing from 1996-99.

Zucker was sevp of SPRI from 2001-2006 and prior to that evp of worldwide distribution for Columbia Pictures for a year. He became president of distribution for SPRI in 2006 and eventually rose to become SPRI president in 2008, overseeing distribution outside North America across all Sony labels including Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics. 

“Mark is one of the most highly regarded, well-respected, and well-liked executives in our company and industry,” Bruer said. “We are sorry to see him go, but we are happy for him – he’s worked hard for this moment.  We all dream of retiring when we’re on top, but Mark has been on top for many years – we are thrilled to see him enjoy this next chapter. 

“We also are thrilled to have Steven as our new International president. Steven is innovative, collaborative, and a strong leader. His promotion is well-earned and he is ready to step into this important role.”

O’Dell joined Sony in 2005 as a vp and was promoted to svp in 2009. He most recently oversaw Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, Portugal, and Scandinavia. O’Dell started out in 1994 at United International Pictures in Central America and the Caribbean. He held management posts for UIP in Chile, Austria, Brazil and Mexico. He returned to the US in 2001 to join consultancy Nadia Bronson & Associates.

Prior to Sony, Zucker was director of marketing finance at MGM/UA from 1980-1984 and before that served as Paramount Pictures from 1975-1980 as director of marketing administration. Prior to Hollywood he held financial positions for organised labour and the advertising industry.