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in Filmmaking
on Mar 16, 2006


Both Indiewire and The Hollywood Reporter reported today that Focus Features co-president David Linde will become co-chairman of Universal Pictures, effective immediately, and Mark Schmuber has been appointed chairman. Shmuger has served as the studio’s vice chairman since 2000. Variety posted a longer article on the story later in the day that reports that the two jobs are equal in stature and that Shmuger received the “chairman” title due to his “longer tenure at Universal.” The two will work collaboratively and replace Stacey Snider, who recently announced her departure to become co-chair and CEO at Dreamworks.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

In their new roles, Shmuger and Linde will oversee all domestic and international business units of Universal Pictures, Focus Features/Rogue Pictures and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, including production, distribution, marketing, legal and business affairs, acquisitions, consumer products, corporate partnerships, strategic planning and finance….

Linde said, “This is an amazing opportunity to work with the most talented group of people. When Universal is committed to something, the whole corporate culture pulls together to create success. I’ve enjoyed a tremendous run at Focus with my partner James Schamus and the entire Focus/Rogue team, and I look forward to continue working with them in my new role.”

From Indiewire:

Linde is expected to make the transition over the next few months, moving to Los Angeles by this summer. Focus co-president James Schamus and his excecutive team are expected to continue running the specialty division. In the new post, Linde and Shmuger will oversee Universal Pictures, its home entertainment division, and Focus Features/Rogue Pictures.

In their end-of-day wrap-up on the story, Hollywood Reporter reports that Schamus will now run Focus and Rogue alone and had his take on the shift:

“For 10 years, I’ve tried to figure out the best way to dissolve my partnership with David, and I finally found the perfect way — they make him my boss,” Schamus said. “David is simply the best executive and best colleague I’ve ever worked with, and he and (new Universal Pictures chairman) Marc (Shmuger) are going to be the most formidable team in the business. And while everyone at Focus and Rogue will miss having David all to ourselves, he’ll remain a vital force here, at a company so finely tuned his transition will be seamless. So good-bye, David, and hello boss.”

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