Michael Luisi to head WWE Studios
Sep 7, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE (NYSE:WWE – News) today announced that Michael Luisi has been named President, WWE Studios, effective immediately. In his new role, Luisi will oversee WWE Studios and all of its motion picture productions and initiatives worldwide. Luisi will continue to report directly to WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.
“Michael’s vast knowledge of, and experience in, the motion picture industry make him a tremendous asset for WWE Studios,” said Vince McMahon. “I am confident Michael will continue to expand our motion picture business on all platforms worldwide.”
WWE Studios will continue to diversify its motion picture portfolio (theatrical, Home Video, VOD) and expand its global audience through strategic production and distribution partnerships, while leveraging WWE’s core fan base of over 500 million households worldwide. Luisi’s seasoned film background and strong industry relationships will play a key role in the execution of the strategy. Prior to joining WWE, Luisi spent twelve years at Miramax Films, most recently as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Operations. In that role, Luisi oversaw the day to day operations of Miramax, as well as serving as the principal business advisor to the president of Miramax and primary liaison with then parent company Disney. Luisi’s new position will enable WWE Studios to expand the WWE studios brand and productions worldwide.
The first project Luisi will oversee for WWE Studios is “No One Lives,” a co-production between Pathe Pictures and WWE Studios starring Luke Evans (The Immortals) and directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, which is currently in post production. Luisi brought the project to WWE shortly after joining the company in January 2011 as its Executive Vice President of Business Development & General Counsel.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE:WWE – News), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul and Tokyo.
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Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete and acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; our exposure to bad debt risk; uncertainties relating to regulatory and litigation matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive nature of our markets; uncertainties associated with international markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; risks associated with producing and travelling to and from our large live events, both domestically and internationally; the risk of accidents or injuries during our physically demanding events; risks relating to our film business and any new business initiative which we may undertake; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family and the possibility of the sale of their stock by the McMahons or the perception of the possibility of such sales; the relatively small public float of our stock; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant.