Vista Group International has announced the appointment of two senior executives into new roles, effective July 1. Sarah Lewthwaite has been promoted to chief executive of Movio, the group’s data driven movie marketing company. At the same time, Movio chief operating officer, Matthew Liebmann, will move into the newly created role of chief innovation and data officer for Vista Group, based in Auckland.
Lewthwaite has extensive experience in the cinema industry, having spent over fifteen years at Cineplex Entertainment in Canada before joining Movio in 2014. As Movio’s chief client officer, she was responsible for all Movio’s exhibition, film studio, and distributor relationships. Her appointment as CEO will see Lewthwaite leading the business globally, working closely with the rest of the Vista Group executive team to drive the business forward. Lewthwaite will be based in London.
“Having devoted my career to the cinema industry, including as a Movio client, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be leading this forward-thinking company,” Lewthwaite said. “We have an ambitious strategy that goes to the heart of our clients’ needs, and I look forward to steering us through the next exciting chapter.”
Vista Group CEO, Kimbal Riley, said Liebmann’s appointment underlines the strategic importance of data to the group’s success. “We have always understood there is real potential for the Group in innovating across our businesses using the data which passes through our software, and Matthew’s appointment is aimed at realising that potential. Matthew’s new role is designed to bring together our overall Group Data and Product strategies and enable us to turn that data into valuable business insights for our clients” he said.
Liebmann said his vision is to leverage all parts of Vista Group – Vista Entertainment, Movio, Numero, Maccs and Flicks – to deliver genuinely beneficial innovations across its full range of solutions.
“With so many competing options for our leisure time, it’s more important than ever that our industry is operationally excellent whilst delivering outstanding entertainment experiences,” said Liebmann. “Technology and data are foundational to empowering cinema teams and delighting moviegoers, and I’m excited to use my background in cinema operations and guest engagement to help capitalize on what we think will be the next golden era of cinema.”
Both executives will report to Riley, who called their appointments are a natural progression, and said, “Both Sarah and Matthew are hugely respected across Vista Group and the cinema and film industry. I am confident that under Sarah’s leadership Movio will respond to the resurgence in the cinema industry and continue to deliver strong results going forward. I am also certain that Matthew will successfully deliver on the huge potential for innovation and data across our business.”