Terry Press and Wolfgang Hammer have been named co-president of CBS Films.
The duo fill in the vacancy left by former president Amy Baer, who left the post in September 2011.
Having two executive fill the vacancy is eyebrow-raising. Hammer was speculated by observers as a strong candidate for the position. He previously held the title of COO and had made his mark in acquisitions for the company, picking up the company’s recent hit The Woman in Black as well as Gambit starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz and as well as making deal to co-finance and distribute the upcoming Martin McDonagh film Seven Psychopaths.
Press’ name as co-head is a surprise. Press has been consulting for the studio since 2010 and is known for her marketing expertise. She was the head of marketing for DreamWorks SKG, overseeing campaign for movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator and Shrek but has been running her own firm, 7570 Marketing.
She consulted on CBS Films’ Woman in Black, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Mechanic. Other recent movies she worked on include The Hunger Games, The Social Network and Hugo.
In her new role, Press will oversee creative, distribution, marketing and physical production for CBS Films.
“Terry has been behind some of the biggest film campaigns of the past two decades,” said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corporation. “She is highly respected across the industry for her instincts, taste and ability to conceive and adapt campaigns for any film in any genre. We are thrilled that she will now be bringing her characteristic drive and creative energy to this new role at CBS.”
Mooves called Hammer “one of the brightest new stars in the industry” and described him as “an aggressive and innovative dealmaker with terrific passion and talent for identifying the right film at the right time. Since the day he arrived, he has been an integral part of the division’s growth and forward momentum, and played an important role in developing a slate of filmmaker-driven titles that have great quality and financial upside.”
Baer acted as CBS Films president for fours years, starting with the company from its recent founding. The company started off with several disappointments. It wasn’t until early this year, with Woman in Black and Salmon Fishing, that it started to achieve notable success.