Exclusive: Former Sony Pictures President Yair Landau Joins MK Capital

Yair Landau, former Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and President of Sony Pictures Digital, is joining venture capital firm MK Capital as a Partner, we’ve learned.

Under Landau’s direction and with the help of the VC firm’s other LA-based partner Mark Terbeek, MK Capital’s West Coast office will pursue investment opportunities with particular emphasis in the digital media, digital production and gaming categories.

Yair Landau spent 17 years working for Sony, most recently serving as Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and President of Sony Pictures Digital.

The latter was formed by Landau back in 1999 and consisted of Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Online Entertainment. As head of corporate development for Sony Pictures, Landau was responsible for securing the underlying rights to the SPIDERMAN franchise, as well as launching Movielink, the 5-studio movie download service.

Landau also formed and managed Sony Pictures Animation, a full-scale animation unit producing full-length CG animated feature films. He also guided Sony Online Entertainment into a major player in the massively multiplayer online games industry before it was transitioned under Sony Playstation following his departure in March 2008.

Landau is the president and founder of Mass Animation, an online animation studio collaboratively producing entertaining digital content. He’s also listed as a partner of Jerusalem Venture Partners on the firm’s website, but we’re not sure that’s still the case.

Some of Chicago-headquartered MK Capital’s investments include BladeLogic (sold to BMC Software for $800 million in March 2008), Multicast Media (acquired by KIT digital for $18 million last month), Kontiki (repurchased from VeriSign in May 2008), Generate, Junction Solutions, Netuitive and Machinima.