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Kaplan out in Sony shake-up

Andy Kaplan, president of Sony Pictures Television Networks, is stepping down from the role as part of a major management shake-up at the entertainment giant.

Andy Kaplan

Kaplan is one of three president-ranking executives leaving Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), the other two being home entertainment boss Man Jit Singh and chief TV marketing officer Sheraton Kalouria, according to US reports.

Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins, who stepped down from his position as CEO of US streamer Hulu to join Sony towards the end of last year, will oversee the international channels group as well as streaming service Sony Crackle.

The regional heads of Sony’s channels group will now report to former Fox Networks Group executive Hopkins.

The shake-up also sees Keith Le Goy, president of worldwide television distribution, add responsibility for home entertainment sales to his remit. Le Goy will report to both Hopkins and Sony Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman.

The changes have been led by Tony Vinciquerra, who was appointed chairman and CEO of SPE in May last year following Michael Lynton’s departure.

“Our decision to rethink the way we operate these units was driven by our goals to streamline SPE’s business operations, making them nimbler and better aligned with a rapidly evolving industry,” Vinciquerra wrote in an internal memo.

Recent original programming under Kaplan includes Absentia, Crackle originals Snatch, StartUp, and The Oath, and locally produced versions of Shark Tank in Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, The Amazing Race Asia, and Asia’s Got Talent.

Prior to assuming his current position, Kaplan served as executive VP and chief operating officer of Sony Pictures Television Group. He was made president of the latter in 2005. He has previously held senior positions at Hollywood Stock Exchange, Hal Roach Studios and Embassy Pictures.

The shake-up at Sony follows a year of executive change at the summit of Sony’s TV business in 2017 that started when Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg departed and subsequently resurfaced at Apple.

Three execs were promoted after Erlicht and Van Amburg left, while Wayne Garvie was upped to president of international production at SPT more recently.

Sony’s top ranks have also been affected, with the corporation confirming on Friday that its overall CEO and president Kaz Hirai would step down in April. He is being replaced by chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida.

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