Sony Possible Sale?
New Chairman Warns: Grow or Be Sold
January 25, 2018
Sending shivers through the Culver City community Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tony Vinciquerra said flatly last week that Sony's entertainment operation has reached a grow-or-sell crossroads.
Sony has been a major supporter of the residents, businesses and especially the schools. As the largest employer in the city Sony employs 2500 people who work in Culver City. Sony took the old dilapidated MGM lot and restored it to the glory days of movie studios. Their financial contributions to the city are enormous with workers using many services throughout the community from restaurants to shopping.
Speaking at the NATPE conference, Vinciquerra echoed the comments of numerous media and entertainment CEOs in emphasizing that the drive for global scale in creating and distributing entertainment content is forcing companies to look for ways to bulk up in market share and reach. Pointing to Disney's pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, Vinciquerra said he expects the ranks of the major studios to shrink from six to three or four in a couple of years.
"If we don't grow we will be somebody's purchase," Vinciquerra told moderator Soledad O'Brien. "I didn't take the job to do it for a year and sell the company."
The 45-minute Q&A with the veteran journalist marked Vinciquerra's first major sit-down since he took the reins of Sony Pictures last June. The conversation ranged from the studio's response to the #MeToo movement to the opportunities presented by burgeoning VR technology to the decline in moviegoing in the U.S.
Vinciquerra said among the first priorities he had in taking over the studio was reorganizing the executive team and stressing to everyone on the Culver City lot that the company needs to adjust to monumental swings in the market for its core film and TV products.
While a possible sale appears to be a remote possibility it will still make city leaders nervous.