Jeff Blake, Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and the studio's Chairman of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, announced today that he will leave Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) to pursue other opportunities effective August 1.
"I have had a great 22 years here at Sony Pictures and have worked for and with some amazing people," said Blake. "I have tremendous respect for Michael and Amy, and I wish them and the great team at Sony nothing but the best."
"I want to thank Jeff for his 22 years of loyal commitment and service to SPE," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "We are grateful for his incredible achievements and accomplishments. Jeff has had a unique ability to positively impact nearly everyone at the Company. We will miss him and wish him the best in the future."
Commenting on the announcement, Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group said, "I have worked side-by-side with Jeff for more than two decades. He is the best partner anyone could ever want. We have benefitted greatly from his wisdom and genius. As sad as I am about his decision to leave, we all wish only the best possible things for him."
During his tenure at SPE, Blake has helped the studio set many industry and companywide records. He led the marketing campaigns for all five "Spider-Man" films, the studio's biggest franchise, which is now nearing $4 billion in box office revenue worldwide. The first Spider-Man film, in 2002, was the first film in the motion picture industry to reach $100 million in domestic box office in its opening weekend. The third Spider-Man film, in 2007, was the first film ever to open to more than $150 million domestically.
Blake was responsible for the launch of all of the films in the "Men in Black" and Robert Langdon franchises. He also oversaw the marketing and distribution of the three most successful films in the James Bond franchise, including Skyfall
, which earned over $1.1 billion in box office gross globally and became the most successful film ever released in the United Kingdom. Blake led the campaigns for 15 films starring Adam Sandler, which together grossed more than $2.6 billion in worldwide box office, and 11 films starring Will Smith, which grossed more than $3.8 billion total in worldwide box office. In 2006, he set a new studio record for worldwide box office – a record he bettered in 2009 and again in 2012. Since 2000, he has been responsible for the launch of 94 #1 films.
Blake joined SPE in 1992, becoming President of Sony Pictures Releasing two years later. He has served as Vice Chairman of SPE since 2002 and as Chairman of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution since 2005.
Prior to joining SPE, Blake worked at Paramount Pictures and the Walt Disney Company. He holds a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Whittier College of Law. Blake is a member of the California Bar Association.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)