J. Timothy Richards, Founder and CEO
Tim has more than 30 years’ experience in cinema exhibition, and extensive international development and operational experience in all major international markets in Europe, South America, Australia and the Far East. Since starting the business 22 years ago, Vue International has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions to become one of the world’s leading cinema operators in nine countries. Tim remains instrumental in the business and the day-to-day execution of the Vue International strategy.
Prior to entering the entertainment industry, Tim was a Wall Street lawyer engaged in international finance and cross-border mergers and acquisitions while based in London and New York. Tim joined Paramount/Universal in 1990 where he was responsible for business development and legal affairs in 44 international markets and in 1994, joined Warner Bros as a Senior Vice President.
In 1999 Tim left Warner Bros. in LA and founded the start-up cinema exhibition company SBC International Cinemas. Backed by the private-equity firm, Boston Ventures, the first SBC Cinema opened in late 2000 in Livingston, Scotland. In 2003, SBC acquired the 36 state-of-the-art multiplex cinema chain Warner Village Theatres in the UK, marking the launch of Vue International.
In February 2021, Tim was named Chair of the British Film Institute by UK Government. In December 2020, Variety magazine named Tim as one of the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global $2 trillion entertainment industry. The Hollywood Reporter named Tim as one of the top five entertainment innovators of the year and The Independent named Tim as one of the "20 most influential people in film". In 2015 Tim was awarded the Variety International Children’s Fund Humanitarian Award for his charitable work.
Tim is an Executive Director of the UK Cinema Association and Board Member of the Union Internationale de Cinemas (UNIC) and has previously acted as a Governor of the Board for the British Film Institute (BFI).
Steve Knibbs, Group MD and Deputy CEO
Steve has over 30 years experience in the cinema industry. He joined AMC in 1987 and pioneered multiplex operations in the United Kingdom, with the first ever purpose built multiplex opening in Europe in 1985 which saw a step-change for the industry.
His positions included Operations Director and Managing Director of the UK business during a time when AMC was acquired by Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios and renamed United Cinemas International (UCI) in 1989.
In 1999 Steve became Senior Vice President of Northern Europe for UCI, overseeing operations in more mature markets such as the UK, Ireland and Germany, alongside emerging markets – Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Steve left UCI in 2003 to join Vue International as COO where he continues to be instrumental in the day-to-day operations of the business working alongside Tim and Alison.
Steve was the first cinema exhibition executive to be appointed to the Board of the prestigious UK Film Council from 2002 to 2010. He was, until recently, on the Executive Board of the UK Cinema Exhibitors Association.
In 2017 Steve was awarded the Exhibition Achievement Award, sponsored by the UK Cinema Association and in 2022, Steve was named as the 2022 recipient of the “International Exhibitor of the Year” award at CineEurope for his accomplishments and leadership within exhibition.
Alison Cornwell, CFO
Alison has over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry spanning film, television and broadcasting.
Alison qualified as a chartered accountant in 1990 and spent 5 years in corporate finance before joining Disney’s International TV business where she was head of finance responsible for TV distribution, the Disney Channel and a portfolio of equity investments in all markets outside the USA. During her 10 year tenure Alison was a key player in the launch and management of 40 channels and oversaw the highly profitable expansion of Disney’s TV licensing business and investment portfolio. Alison was also a non-executive director of GMTV from 2002 to 2005.
In 2005 Alison was appointed CFO of a private equity backed international TV broadcasting business, Sparrowhawk Media, which was successfully sold to NBC Universal at the end of 2007. Following this Alison was appointed CFO of the international film distribution company Alliance Films. Alison led a number of significant corporate acquisitions and corporate and film financing projects alongside the exit process and sale of the business in 2013.
Alison joined Vue International in 2014 as CFO. Alison is a former Governor of the British Film Institute and is currently a non-executive director of a Scottish charity which runs the Edinburgh International Film Festival. She is also a member of the Governing Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.