Universal Pictures has promoted two senior executives - Marc Shmuger and Rick Finkelstein. Shmuger, formerly president of marketing, has been named vice chairman and Finkelstein, formerly president, has been given the additional title of chief operating officer (COO). They will both report to Stacey Snider, chairman of the studio.

The promotions, due largely to the banner year which Universal has enjoyed due to the success of Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Gladiator, Meet The Parents and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, come as the first major move since parent Seagram Co merged with Vivendi last week to form Vivendi Universal.

Shmuger will coordinate the film group's activities with its new overseas sister companies while also heading up its internet operations, international distribution and global marketing arms.

Finkelstein will integrate Universal Pictures' overall operations into Vivendi Universal while continuing to guide the unit's business operations and legal affairs, home video and technology groups.