Sony Pictures co-chairman and chief executive Michael Lynton announced Rothman's promotion on Tuesday. Since late 2013, Rothman has been running TriStar Productions at Sony.

In more than a decade running Fox Filmed Entertainment, Rothman oversaw the two biggest box-office grossers ever: "Avatar" and "Titanic."

He is known for both budget-consciousness and a deep knowledge of all facets of the industry. He led Fox to more than USD 40 billion in worldwide box office and more than 150 Academy Award nominations. He also previously founded Fox Searchlight.

"Tom's creativity, strong talent relationships and track record of enduring films and commercial success are unparallelled in this industry and exactly what we are looking for to grow our film business," Lynton said in a statement.     

"Having run Fox Filmed Entertainment during a time of great successes and growth for that studio, and then producing at TriStar here at SPE (Sony Pictures Entertainment), Tom knows this business inside and out like few others do."

Rothman will oversee Sony's Motion Picture Group and report to Lynton, who remains chairman and CEO. Sony also announced that Lynton's contract has been extended.

Rothman succeeds longtime Sony chief Pascal, who exited earlier this month after troves of embarrassing emails were leaked in the hacking attack around "The Interview."

Pascal apologised for racially insensitive remarks in emails between her and producer Scott Rudin about President Obama.

She is launching a major new production venture at Sony, where she will produce, among other projects, the studio's "Spider-man" series.

Sony said that Rothman will work with Amy Pascal "to ensure a smooth and orderly transition into his new role."

"I have had the pleasure of working closely with the exceptionally talented teams at SPE for the past year, and I am excited to build on those relationships in this new role," said Rothman.

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