There’s a horserace developing at Sony Pictures Entertainment after co-chairman Amy Pascal’s announcement that she will be leaving the studio’s number-one creative job. In the wake of the hacking scandal that left Sony’s inner workings wide open to the eyes and ears of a curious public, Pascal’s decision to make an early exit from the Sony brass has led to a number of front-runners under consideration for the influential and lucrative studio executive job.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, chief among those under consideration is Tom Rothman, who now works as head of Sony’s revitalized TriStar label, but is perhaps best known as the former head of the 20th Century Fox feature film division. A veteran of the film industry who, like Pascal, enjoys strong relationships with the notoriously hard-to-please top talent Sony would like to recruit for its feature films going forward.

Rothman is certainly qualified for the position, but the Sony hacking scandal that may or may not have been perpetrated by the North Korean government has left him with some questions to answer for of his own. For example, in leaked internal Sony emails that were made public during the breach, Rothman was found to have mocked superstar Will Smith and his wife Jada for their decision to homeschool their children.

Rothman was reportedly in England at the time of Pascal’s announcement of her moving toward a producer’s role at Sony, leading some industry insiders to believe he is not being considered for the job despite his current ties with the studio and reputation for deft handling of large film budgets.

Other industry executives reportedly being considered for the job include Sony’s own Jeff Robinov, formerly studio head at Warner Brothers, as well as film industry veterans Doug Belgrad and Michael DeLuca.

The new co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment will be officially announced sometime between now and May 2015, when Pascal is set to vacate her position. Be sure to check out Rothman’s website to stay updated on any news regarding the new position.

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