Independent entertainment production and distribution company A24 has hired J. B. Lockhart, former CFO of the NBA, as its first finance chief, sources reported Tuesday.
The hire comes as A24, the nine-year-old company behind Oscar-winning films including Minari and Moonlight, was rumored to be eyeing a sale at a value of up to $3 billion.
- “Lockhart’s charge is clear: lead [A24’s] continued global expansion,” IndieWire said Tuesday. A24 did not respond to requests for comment, though Lockhart shared news of his new role on LinkedIn, and the NBA shared news of his departure in an internal memo.
At the NBA, where Lockhart has been since 2013, he oversaw strategic planning and finance for the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League. He also oversaw international expansion efforts, including the 2019 launch of the Basketball Africa League. He was promoted from senior vice president of team finance and strategy to CFO in 2017.
Prior to the NBA, Lockhart spent nearly a decade in venture capital focused on the entertainment sector. He also spent two years in the Walt Disney Company’s strategic planning group, where he worked to identify potential merger and acquisition targets, and worked on the acquisition of Pixar and the sale of Disney’s stake in E! Networks.
A24, which employs 125 people, might be hoping Lockhart will help prepare it for a sale or to lead inorganic growth through acquisitions, analysts told IndieWire.
“I don’t think this is for the public markets," said Eric Schiffer, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Patriarch Organization. "You need to have someone who can speak the vernacular and make a deal that’s most credible and salable.”
The company has 17 films and 14 series worldwide in production in 2021. It has entered into several partnerships, including with Hulu, HBO and Apple TV.