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Ivan Dunleavy to Exit as Chief Executive of Pinewood Group

Variety logo Variety 4/24/2017 Robert Mitchell
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Ivan Dunleavy, the CEO of Pinewood Group, is to leave his role after 17 years, it was revealed Monday. Pinewood chairman Paul Golding will act as interim chief executive.

In an e-mail sent to all studio staff, Golding said: “Ivan has played a huge role in the success of Pinewood. When we became owners six months ago, we were delighted that he stayed on. Now, having overseen a smooth transition from public company to private ownership and with the business in such great shape, he has suggested the time is right to move on.”

Pinewood was acquired by Aermont Capital in a £323.3 million ($419 million) deal last August, which was completed in October. The deal saw Pinewood’s iconic facilities in Buckinghamshire, England (pictured) as well as Shepperton Studios in Surrey and the Group’s facilities in Atlanta, Berlin, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Toronto and Wales, taken over by Aermont.

Dunleavy has served as chief executive at the leading U.K. studio since February 2000. In August that year it was announced that Pinewood would merge with Shepperton Studios – a deal approved by the U.K. government in October 2000.

In the same e-mail to staff Dunleavy thanked all staff, past and present, for their support. The e-mail said he wished the studio, staff and “all contributors to the screen industries” every success. He will continue to act in a senior advisory role to the Group’s new management.

Golding told the staff that Pinewood Group would putting “substantial investment in people and infrastructure at Pinewood and Shepperton” and that the company aimed to strengthen its international presence in the main markets around the world.

The Group announced April 21 that a Reserved Matters planning application had been submitted for the second phase of its development of Pinewood Studios. The plans would add three further sound stages to the facility alongside workshop buildings, an office block and required access. The first phase of the expansion, which was granted outline planning permission in June 2014, added five sound stages with supporting workshops and office space and was completed in June 2016. Andrew M. Smith, corporate affairs director for Pinewood Group, said the latest phase of the expansion would “further enhance Pinewood’s reputation as an international screen cluster.”

Pinewood Studios has been home to 22 of the 24 official films in the James Bond franchise, including the series most recent entry “Spectre,” and is home to the world-famous 007 Stage, which was built in 1976 for “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

J.A. Bayona’s sequel to “Jurassic World,” starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, James Cromwell, Toby Jones and Geraldine Chaplin, is currently in production at the Pinewood facility. It has recently also been home to LucasFilm’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One.” Shepperton Studios has recently played host to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “Doctor Strange,” while productions using other Pinewood Group facilities include “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.”

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