People/Biz

Mike Hopkins exits Sony Pictures Television, boards Amazon to oversee video entertainment

Mike Hopkins will step down from his role as chairman of Sony Pictures Television later this month to join e-commerce and digital streaming giant Amazon. In his new role, Hopkins (pictured) will ...
February 10, 2020

Mike Hopkins will step down from his role as chairman of Sony Pictures Television later this month to join e-commerce and digital streaming giant Amazon.

In his new role, Hopkins (pictured) will oversee Amazon’s video entertainment businesses, including Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and will report directly to Amazon chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, meanwhile, will now report to Hopkins. She had previously reported to Jeff Blackburn, a key Amazon executive who first joined the company in 1998 and is currently on a year-long sabbatical with plans to return in 2021, according to various reports. At the time of his sabbatical, Blackburn was SVP of worldwide business development.

“I’m writing to make you aware that Mike Hopkins will be leaving Sony Pictures later this month to take on an exciting new challenge overseeing Amazon’s video entertainment businesses,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Tony Vinciquerra in a memo to staff.

He continued: “Obviously, this move represents a significant change for our senior leadership team and the studio, but we support Mike’s decision and look forward to the many opportunities to stay connected working together in the future.”

As a result of Hopkins’ imminent departure, Sony Pictures Television has realigned its leadership structure with Keith LeGoy, currently president of worldwide distribution, adding oversight of anime streamer Funimation and Sony’s networks operations, programming and strategy group to his remit.

In addition, Jeff Frost, president of U.S. production, will now oversee First Run Television, Embassy Row and Sony’s new game show development team run by Mike Richards.

Both LeGoy and Frost will now report directly to Vinciquerra, as will the company’s international production business, Silvergate, GSN, Sony’s India networks business, and Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!

Hopkins joined Sony Pictures Television in November 2017 and had been responsible for all television production, distribution and marketing operations globally for the studio, as well as Sony Picture Entertainment’s media networks business.

Prior to Sony, Hopkins spent four years as the CEO of Hulu. Under his leadership, the company built out its original slate of programming and expanded its business into the pay-TV space, launching a live news, entertainment and sports package, in addition to its existing subscription-on-demand service.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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