The incoming evp of worldwide digital and commercial strategy will report to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president David Bishop and assumes oversight of all transactional digital business worldwide.
Underwood will also be charged with developing SPHE’s integrated home entertainment strategy across all distribution platforms. He will oversee SPHE’s digital distribution, digital strategy and operations, commercial planning and business affairs groups.
John Calkins, who previously led SPHE’s digital efforts and played a pivotal role in the launch of UltraViolet and early electronic-sell-through, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.
Jason Spivak will continue to lead the team responsible for SPHE’s transactional digital distribution and reports to Underwood.
“With technology changing the way consumers collect and experience our products, Jim has the right background and expertise to keep SPHE at the forefront of new and emerging business models during this time of transformation in the industry,” Bishop said.
“SPHE has always embraced new technologies and worked with our partners to introduce new forms of distribution that benefit consumers and the studio – by launching new physical formats like Blu-ray and by helping drive new digital models like UltraViolet,” Underwood said. “I’m excited to build on these successes and to help SPHE continue to find innovative new ways to bring our products to customers around the world.”
Underwood previously served as evp corporate development at Sony Pictures and has held a variety of corporate and business development roles since joining the company in 2003.
Prior to Sony he worked in corporate development, strategic consulting and investment banking positions at Parametric Technologies, The Parthenon Group and Morgan Stanley.
“Under the overall leadership of David Bishop, SPHE and the digital team have taken significant steps forward in digital distribution, and I look forward to capitalizing on the momentum we’re beginning to see in digital content ownership in my next role,” Calkins said.
“We are grateful for the role John [Calkins] has played in helping to build our digital businesses and wish him well as he moves on to his next opportunity,” Bishop said.