Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said the company has reached its moment of truth: it’s time to grow or be bought out, per media reports of his conversation at the NATPE conference in Miami on Wednesday.
“If we don’t grow, we will be somebody’s purchase,” said Vinciquerra. “I didn’t take the job to do it for a year and sell the company.”
Vinciquerra told moderator Soledad O’Brien mergers will continue to rise among entertainment giants, and Sony has to be expand if it doesn’t want to become another acquisition.
“There are six major film studios right now, and in a few years there will be three or four,” continued Vinciquerra. “There are hundreds of TV studios. And there will still be a ton, but there will be a few big ones and many small, specialized ones.”
The exec — who took over for Michael Lynton last year — denied a potential merger with CBS, but said partnerships with other companies are a possibility. He pointed to the stalled $85 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner as a major indicator of where the industry is headed.
“Repercussions of the deal going through are that it will open the floodgates to other mergers,” he said. “If it doesn’t happen, I think people will be forced to think about how to make things happen on a more creative scale.”
The 45 minute discussion was Vinciquerra’s first extended conversation since taking the reins last June. Vinciquerra touted the recent success of “Jumanji,” and “Spider-Man” when talking about the company’s performance at the box office. He added the 2014 hack by North Korean cybercriminals was “still reverberating around the lot,” and that he has to think “more deeply” about the projects Sony pursues.