Production and marketingveteran Ricky Strauss has been named president of Participant Productions, thecompany founded by eBay pioneer and philanthropist Jeff Skoll.

Reporting directly to Skoll,Strauss will be responsible for overseeing production, marketing and businessdevelopment, and working closely with studio and production partners on titlesthat further Participant's mandate of making pictures that effect socialchange.

He will also overseedevelopment and execution of pro-social action marketing campaigns that willenable audiences to get involved in the issues raised by the pictures.

Prior to Participant,Strauss founded Sony-based Ricochet Entertainment and also served as marketingconsultant for Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures, creating ad campaignsfor Maid In Manhattan and MonaLisa Smile.

Prior to that he served as asenior executive in both production and marketing for Sony. "Ricky brings arare combination of talent and expertise in both production and marketing toParticipant," Skoll said. "He will enable us to more aggressively pursue ourvision of producing and marketing entertaining, profitable films that make adifference."

"After 17 years with Sony,taking on the reins of an independent production and financing company with a uniqueand focused social mission is an incredibly compelling opportunity," Straussadded.

"I look forward toshepherding our slate of films as well as overseeing the pro-social marketingplans that will allow the issues of the film to live long after being seen intheatres."

Participant's creditsinclude Syriana with Warner Brosand starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, Untitled Niki Caro Project starring Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand andSissy Spacek, IFC Films' American Gun starring Donald Sutherland, Forest Whitaker and Marcia Gay Harden, andthe documentary The World According To Sesame Street.