Paramount Chief Lansing To Step Down

By Michelle
November 3, 2004 - 11:04 PM

Sherry Lansing, chair of Paramount Pictures, has announced her intention to step down after 12 years of running the studio.

Yahoo! reported that Lansing, the first woman ever to head a major Hollywood motion picture company, had announced her intention to depart when her contract expires at the end of next year. She said that she had informed Viacom co-president Tom Freston of her decision now so that the corporation would have plenty of time to find a replacement.

Under Lansing's guidance, Paramount produced blockbusters Forrest Gump, Mission: Impossible and Braveheart as well as films targeted to appeal to women such as The Accused and Fatal Attraction. She also oversaw numerous Star Trek feature films, winning the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films' Dr. Donald A. Reed Award for her contribution to genre films, as reported at

"I'll have been in this job for 12 years and have had the opportunity and the privilege to work with the very best the entertainment industry has to offer," said Lansing, who was praised by Freston as being at the top of the game.

A Variety article, also posted on Yahoo!, quoted Freston as saying that he did not "have anybody in the wings" poised to take over Paramount. "It's a great but complicated job...the search is going to be exhaustive." Variety cited a slump in studio fortunes and competition from other motion picture companies as potential obstacles in finding a replacement quickly.

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