Less than a month after his promotion to CEO, Brian Robbins has started a leadership shake-up at Paramount Pictures, bringing in Nickelodeon Animation head Ramsey Naito to replace Mireille Soria as animation president for the ViacomCBS motion picture group. This comes less than a week after Emma Watts exited her role as president of Paramount Pictures.
Paramount did not give a reason for the departure of Soria, who has led animation at the film label since 2017. Some of her key accomplishments include spearheading development and production on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and executing a first-look deal with joint-venture Animal Logic (Happy Feet) and Imagine Entertainment.
Naito (pictured) will now serve as president of animation and development for both Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Animation.
She has been in place as president of Nickelodeon Animation since her promotion from EVP of current series and development in September 2020. Under her watch, the toon division launched its biggest slate in the Nickelodeon’s history, with Naito bringing in more than 70 projects to the studio.
This year, she oversaw launches such as PAW Patrol: The Movie; The Loud House Movie; original SpongeBob spinoff series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years and The Patrick Star Show; Santiago of the Seas; and reboot Rugrats, which was recently greenlit for a second season.
Her new projects include a kid-focused Star Trek: Prodigy series from Nickelodeon Animation and CBS Studios; original content from newly formed Avatar Studios; and a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature in partnership with Seth Rogan’s Point Grey Pictures.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon in 2018, Naito served as head of Paramount Animation, as well as doing stints as a producer at DreamWorks and Blue Sky Studio and head of movies at Cartoon Network.