Universal Pictures, which distributes its films in international territories through the London-based United International Pictures (UIP), has downsized its Los Angeles international marketing and distribution department laying off six staff members. In addition, Thomas Castaneda, the much-liked veteran vice president of international publicity, has resigned.

The move continues the studio's integration of domestic and international marketing departments under studio vice chairman Marc Shmuger. It also follows the departure in January of Nadia Bronson, Universal's international chief for many years, who has subsequently set up her own marketing consultancy. She was replaced in March by Randy Greenberg who was named senior vice president of international marketing and distribution.

"These layoffs are a continuation of our efforts to further integrate and streamline our domestic and international operations, and to eliminate any duplication of efforts," said a Universal spokesperson in a statement. "We value the contribution made by these individuals, and are taking good care of them in this transition."