Mike Lang Resigns as CEO of Miramax

Steve Schoch, Miramax CFO, will serve as interim CEO

Mike Lang is unexpectedly stepping down as CEO of Miramax, the company announced on Friday.

No reason was given for the sudden departure. Lang is widely regarded as one of the most capable digital executives in the industry, so his departure seemed sure to set off speculation about the status of the company.

Steve Schoch, Miramax's CFO, will serve as interim CEO until a replacement is named. Lang will remain a consultant to the company as it searches for a successor.

“We are very proud of what Miramax has accomplished in such a short period of time," Richard Nanula, chairman of Miramax and a principal at Colony Capital, said in a statement. "Mike has built a team of dedicated professionals, and they’ve worked together to create tremendous value."

Also read: The New Miramax: $325M in New Business (Exclusive

Since taking the reins at Miramax, Lang has overseen distribution agreements for rights to such classic films as "Pulp Fiction" and "The English Patient." Hulu and Netflix are among the companies that have signed deals with the company in recent months.

In an exclusive interview with TheWrap in December, Colony Capital partner Richard Nanula said that the company had closed $325 million in new licensing agreements since taking over the company. 

“We’re not smarter than the average studio, we’re just less complicated,” Nanula told TheWrap at the time. Lang was not present at the interview, for reasons that were not made clear at the time.

Under Lang, Miramax has mostly been concerned with leveraging its library or finding partners to produce sequels or remakes of its former films. It has not developed new projects.

In the first week of December, Miramax closed $500 million in new funding to refinance debt taken on when Colony Capital and billionaire investor Ron Tutor bought the library from the Walt Disney Co. for $660 million.

Prior to joining Miramax, Lang spent six years at News Corp. He had been the executive vice president for business development and strategy, and played a key role in acquisitions including MySpace and Hulu.

Also read: Netflix, Miramax Expand Streaming Deal to Latin America

He advised Nanula and a group of investors that included billionaire Ron Tutor  in the run-up to their successful purchase of the independent film company in 2010.

The investors bought Miramax from the Walt Disney Company for slightly more than $600 million. 

The purchase included the rights to more than 700 film titles at a company built by Harvey and Bob Weinstein and bought by Disney in the early 1990s.

Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.