Michael Joe, Universal's longtime chief strategy officer, is abandoning ship to become president of Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media, the company announced Wednesday.
In his new post, Joe will be charged with overseeing day-to-day operation and expanding Relativity 's domestic and international distribution footprint. He will also manage its banking and finance initiatives and strategy.
He will report directly to CEO Kavanaugh.
Joe had been at Universal for 15 years, where he oversaw the studio's digital strategy and distribution. He also was in charge of business development and film financing. He was promoted to executive vice president in 2006.
Ironically, one of Joe's signature accomplishments at Universal was hammering out an equity financing partnership with Relativity. That pact, which also involved Elliot Associates, covers 80 films from 2008 to 2014.
Joe also played a lead role in establishing Universal’s international production operation; establishing Universal Pictures International; and establishing Focus Features after the acquisition of Good Machine. Prior to moving to Universal Pictures, Joe served as director of corporate development for Universal Studios. Early in his career, Joe held positions at Turner Broadcasting and the LEK Consulting Group.