January 16, 2018
STX President Sophie Watts Stepping Down
This just came in from STX, which says STX Entertainment president Sophie Watts is exiting her post “to focus on new business opportunities.” She had been president since the company’s beginnings, and will remain a strategic advisor.
STX said that for the time being all divisions previously reporting to Watts will now report directly to CEO Bob Simonds or COO Thomas B. McGrath.
“Sophie is a force of nature. She is an incredibly talented, versatile executive who has
been central to every aspect of growing the Company, both domestically and internationally,
from inception to the multi-billion-dollar endeavor it is today,” Simonds said in the release just out. “She has been a great friend and trusted colleague for many years, and her DNA is inextricably intertwined with every part of STX. I am deeply thankful for the ferocious intelligence, tenacity, loyalty, and commitment she has brought to us. I look forward to her continued, valuable support and I can’t wait to see what she chooses to do next.”
Watts has been a major driver of STX’s growth, helping to stratagize the multiple lines of business that now include film production, acquisition and distribution; TV production and
acquisition; digital content creation and distribution; VR production and distribution; and developing China-U.S. media relationships. She directly oversaw STX’s digital, VR and unscripted TV studios.
In November, STX landed an investment from John Malone’s Liberty Global that a source says values the studio founded by Simonds and TPG Growth’s Bill McGlashan at $1.5 billion. The infusion comes ahead of a planned IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange sometime this in which the company plans to raise $500 million.
Before STX, the London-born Watts was involved in music film and videos working with the likes of Paul McCartney, Elton John, U2, Beyoncé, Madonna and Mariah Carey. In the U.S. her producing credits include 2011’s Bully, which won a PGA Award.
“STX has been a life-changing experience for me, not only because of the company’s
phenomenal growth and unique approach to global creativity, but because of the hundreds of
spectacular people who make it such an extraordinary place to work,” Watts said today. “After more than six years working with Bob, I have decided to step away from my day-to-day role as President of the company to explore new opportunities.
“I want to deeply thank Bob Simonds, Bill McGlashan at TPG Growth, John Zhao at Hony, and the rest of the board for backing this venture. I truly believe that we – the entire STX team – have built a new global media company that is a custom-built home for stars and creators to tell their stories anywhere and through any format. I look forward to seeing the company continue to grow and break new boundaries in the future.”