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Sony names new head of Columbia Pictures

Associated Press Associated Press 5/06/2016

Sony Pictures Entertainment has named Sanford Panitch president of Columbia Pictures, replacing Doug Belgrad.

The announcement was made Friday by Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman, who took over as studio chief from Amy Pascal last year following the computer hack of Sony.

Panitch has overseen international production at the studio since last June.

Rothman praises Panitch's film background and says his international expertise fits exactly with the company's "expanded global emphasis and ambitions." Rothman says Sony is "moving forward to shape the new Columbia Pictures."

The nearly 100-year-old Columbia Pictures is the most renowned division of Sony's film operations.

Belgrad is a longtime veteran of Columbia Pictures. He had been in the running for studio head following Pascal's exit. He will stay on through July.

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