Movie marketing data and analytics firm Movio will be headed by longtime executives Sarah Lewthwaite and Matthew Liebmann following co-founder and CEO Will Palmer’s departure from the company in December.
Lewthwaite, Movio’s Chief Client Officer, located in London, and Matthew Liebmann, Movio’s Chief Operating Officer, operating out of the company’s Auckland headquarters, will report directly to Vista Group CEO Kimbal Riley.
Palmer founded Movio alongside Peter Beguely in 2010, positioning the company as a global leader in optimizing marketing data for exhibitors and distributors.
“Movio is indebted to Will for the tremendous bench strength he has developed,” said Riley. “Matthew and Sarah are world class leaders, each deeply respected within Movio, Vista Group, and the entire theatrical sector. Both Will and I have the utmost faith in their ability to guide the Movio team as it continues to deliver outstanding results now and into the future.”
As Chief Client Officer, Lewthwaite has been responsible for all of Movio’s exhibition, film studio, and distributor relationships. She successfully established Movio Cinema in EMEA, growing the region’s cinema client base to over 40 exhibitors in more than 30 countries, while launching Movio Media and Movio Research in the UK, and forming partnerships with key film studio and distribution partners. She also led Movio Strategic Services, designing loyalty program and database marketing strategies in 12 different countries.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be leading Movio into the future,” said Lewthwaite. “We are at a pivotal time in the cinema industry and I am both optimistic and excited for what is to come, and how Movio will continue to evolve to support the needs of our clients. Matthew and I have formed a fantastic partnership and our complementary skills and locations in the world will allow us to deliver even more effectively to our clients, team and shareholders.”
As Chief Operating Officer at Movio, Liebmann has overseen worldwide strategy and operations for Movio Cinema, the leading marketing data analytics and targeted campaign solution for exhibitors, which accrues anonymized comprehensive marketing data on over 39 million active moviegoers from the world’s leading cinema chains.
“I have been involved with Movio for almost 10 years, first as a client and then as an employee, so I truly understand the product, team, and legacy that Will and his co-founder Peter Beguely created,” said Liebmann. “I’m excited to build upon their achievements for the benefit of our industry, our clients and moviegoers and I cannot think of a better partner in this than Sarah Lewthwaite.”
“It has been an absolute privilege to lead the Movio team for the past 11 years,” said Palmer. “Their collective talent and constant drive to innovate continues to amaze me. And while there is still so much more to achieve, I felt the time was right to hand the reins to two outstanding executives and personal friends, Sarah Lewthwaite and Matthew Liebmann. Their energy and enthusiasm for the film industry is unparalleled and I have no doubt they will ensure Movio’s ongoing success.“
“Will has been absolutely instrumental in the success of Vista Group by building Movio into the global leader in marketing data analytics and campaign management solutions for the film industry,” said Riley. “Now, having navigated the pandemic successfully, Will felt it was the right time for him to pass the baton to the capable hands of Sarah Lewthwaite and Matthew Liebmann to continue to build on Movio’s legacy while he flexes his entrepreneurial muscles once again. My heartfelt thanks to Will for his outstanding contribution to Vista Group and Movio. We all wish him the very best for his future endeavors.”
Palmer will be moving on to launch a new venture studio as he prepares to bring the rel Cupla, which he developed with his wife, Erika, to market early next year.