The Sony hacking scandal continues to churn out new “shakeups” at the company, which is industry slang for “moving people around to pretend that a deeply entrenched culture of awfulness is changing.” Following on the heels of the company hiring noted unpleasant Fox exec Tom Rothman to replace outgoing president and fan of being fired Amy Pascal, Sony has now also fired Sony Pictures Digital president Bob Osher, thereby putting a real dent in the studio’s summer kickball league lineup.
The move is in conjunction with an overall restructuring of Sony’s digital operations. Variety reports that Imageworks, the character animation and visual effects arm of the company, will now be placed under the motion picture wing of the company. Additionally, post-production services and other ancillary aspects of the digital operations will be divided between the motion picture group and Sony Pictures Television. The company has not yet decided on the best way to ensure the people responsible for The Smurfs films never make another animated picture.
In an email, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton thanks Osher for his stint overseeing Sony Animation and Imageworks. “I want to thank Bob for his 11 years of service and acknowledge the important role he played in strengthening the financial and operational foundation of SPDP,” said the CEO, which is a diplomatic thing to say after leaked emails back in December revealed that Lynton was planning to fire Osher anyway.
Variety notes that the move likely has as much to do with the poor reputation of Sony Animation and Imageworks as it does something as uncouth as a hacking scandal that exposed all your company’s executives as rampaging ids of egoism and pettiness. When an attempt to recruit The Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller as the new heads of its animation division failed—largely due to said reputation—the company moved to fix the problem, taking the animation division out from under Osher’s control at Sony Pictures Digital and hiring DreamWorks Animation veteran Kristine Belson as its new president. Presumably, Sony is hoping this helps put to bed one of the worst eras in the company’s history, an optimism that seems unfounded given that the company is still releasing an Angry Birds movie.