Warner Bros. promoted Courtney Armstrong to executive vice president of worldwide business affairs, taking over for the retiring Patti Connolly. Armstrong will oversee day-to-day business and legal aspects of worldwide film acquisition, production and distribution for the studio, as well as supervise deals with key filmmakers and talent.
Armstrong has been with Warner Bros. for 11 years and will report directly to Steven Spira, president of worldwide business affairs. Connolly will retire after 29 years with the company and will stay on in an advisory role until the end of 2014.
“Courtney has been a longstanding driver of our success and this promotion is well deserved,” Spira said. “He is an exceptionally savvy and creative dealmaker, with strong business instincts and relationships, which have served Warner Bros. well for more than a decade. I look forward to his expanded presence in our department and the role he will play ensuring we remain the industry’s leading studio.”
Armstrong takes on the role at a troubled time for the studio. Last week, the studio announced impending layoffs to start in the coming months. The company’s domestic box office has also been sluggish in 2014, currently sitting near $1.08 billion and in third place behind Fox and Disney. That’s substantially lower than its $1.86 billion box office take at the same time in 2013.
Armstrong has been involved with several blockbuster film projects for the studio, including “The Dark Knight” trilogy and “The Departed.” He also played a key role in the upcoming “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Prior to joining Warner Bros., Armstrong was an attorney in the business and legal affairs department at Walt Disney Pictures.
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“It has been a professional pleasure to see Courtney evolve as both a negotiator and a leader within our team,” Connolly said. “He has earned the respect of both his colleagues and senior management at Warner Bros. and I know the film division remains in very capable hands.”