Sony Pictures Entertainment is to adopt a regional model for its international film marketing and distribution teams as part of a corporate restructure that will also see theatrical, home entertainment and television distribution marketing teams merge in the US.
As part of the restructure, announced on Tuesday (October 27) by Sony’s motion picture group president Josh Greenstein and networks and distribution president Keith Le Goy (pictured), co-president of global marketing Andre Caraco has chosen to depart after more than 30 years at the studio.
Sony’s announcement is the latest in a wave of studio realignments. Hollywood studios are consolidating their content creation teams as they weigh up distribution options at a time when streaming platforms have boomed.
“Ultimately, these changes will better position us as a studio for when we come out of this pandemic,” Greenstein and Le Goy said in a memo to staff.
All country heads will report to their respective regional heads. The regional model, which exists in the company’s television distribution and networks business, will see regional heads named for Western Europe, CEEMA (Central, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa), Latin America, and Asia Pacific.
All will report to Steven O’Dell, president international distribution for the motion picture group, and Mike Wald, EVP international distribution and networks, who in turn will report to Greenstein and Le Goy.
There have been lay-offs in the US marketing and distribution teams.
During the pandemic, Sony has tried to preserve its theatrical releases, opening Broken Hearts Gallery and other smaller titles in US cinemas but holding back larger tentpoles such as Peter Rabbit and Venom sequels for 2021.
It emerged last week that Sony and eOne sold Christmas rom-com Happiest Season starring Kristen Stewart to Hulu, although Sony and eOne kept international rights.
The memo appears below:
We want to inform you of some important structural changes taking place in our marketing and distribution operations in Motion Pictures and Television. Moving forward, we will be combining our theatrical, home entertainment and television distribution marketing teams in the U.S. and adopting a regional model for both businesses internationally. This will allow for better coordination and enable us to apply the collective expertise of our teams across all platforms throughout each title’s lifecycle, and to respond cohesively to new and emerging release patterns.
The changes represent an important step in further integrating and streamlining our businesses across the studio and will strengthen our marketing and distribution capabilities in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.
- In the U.S., our new centralized marketing group will be run by Paul Noble and Danielle Misher, Co-Heads of Global Theatrical Marketing, along with Lexine Wong, Head of Global Multichannel Distribution Marketing. Paul, Danielle and Lexine will now have a dual report to both of us and will handle marketing across all production labels.
- Internationally, we will be combining our film marketing and distribution teams into the regional model that currently exists in our television distribution and networks business. Regional heads, who will be named shortly for Western Europe, CEEMA (Central, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa), Latin America and Asia Pacific will report to both Steven O’Dell, President International Distribution for MPG, and Mike Wald, EVP International Distribution and Networks. Country leaders in those territories will report into the respective regional head. Over the next several months, Mike and Steven will partner with the regional leaders to determine the most effective structure for their region. Steven and Mike will have a dual report to both of us.
The following leaders will also now have a dual report to both of us:
- Flory Bramnick, Executive Vice President, Distribution for North America Television & Ad Sales
- Jason Spivak, Executive Vice President, Distribution for North America Television & Home Entertainment
- Paul Littmann, Executive Vice President, Distribution for Global
- Adrian Smith, President, Domestic Distribution for Theatrical
- Jamie Stevens, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Consumer Products
- Jeffrey Godsick, Executive Vice President, Brand Strategy and Global Partnerships (across all windows)
Our own reporting lines will not change, but we will be working very closely together on these matters.
The company has considered for some time combining these operations to create better efficiencies and tighter collaboration among our teams. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on our industry – particularly in how it has upended distribution and the ways in which audiences are consuming content – accelerated the efforts in implementing this restructure. Ultimately, these changes will better position us as a studio for when we come out of this pandemic
With the consolidation, unfortunately some positions in the U.S. marketing and distribution teams have been eliminated. Those employees impacted have been notified and we sincerely thank them for their many excellent contributions.
We look forward to working with our teams and all of you over the coming days as we put these changes into action.
Josh and Keith