Following the surprise announcement by Sony Pictures that Amy Pascal will step down as co-chairman, media reports have mentioned some of the most powerful people in moviedom as potential successors, including Jeff Robinov, the former president of Warner Brothers Pictures.
Robinov, who left the Burbank studio in June 2013 after failing to win the CEO job, is currently the head of Studio 8, his new production company that has $1 billion in backing from China’s Fosun Group and several U.S. banks.
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Sources said Robinov was in China at the time Pascal announced she was stepping down, and that Sony did not appear to have tipped off the executive or others with close relationships to the studio as to its plans. It is unlikely that Robinov would want to step away from a new venture that has been so effective at raising money and striking strategic allegiances with the potentially lucrative Chinese audience.
The report added that the two most obvious candidates are Robinov and Tom Rothman, the former head of 20th Century Fox studio who now runs TriStar, saying that many people in Hollywood have speculated for months that either executive could become co-chairman if Pascal leaves.
Robinov is said to have strong relationships with talent and be especially close with such filmmakers as Christopher Nolan, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder and Baz Luhrmann.